Import/Export Wood Purchasing News (February/March 2018 issue) provided an overview of major developments in shipping in 2017 and how they may affect prices and container trade in 2018.
The number of large shipping lines has continually decreased through acquisitions and mergers. In 2017 Maersk acquired Hamburg-Süd. Cosco bought OOCL after absorbing China Shipping in 2016. The three Japanese carriers KLINE, NYK and MOL have announced they will merge to become ONE (Ocean Network Express). In the end three major alliances will represent approximately 85% of the global container trade in 2018.
At the same time ocean freight rates have been at record low levels. Rates are not expected to increase much in 2018, despite the shipping line mergers. This is in part because carriers are ordering larger vessels, which can hold up to 4,000 containers more than the ships they will replace. Without an increase in cargo, the larger capacity will help depress freight rates.
Ocean Freight will keep in Low level on 2018 Year
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