Six of the 10 largest shipping companies in the world ask for support

Six of the 10 largest shipping companies in the world have requested help from the governments of their home countries.

Those shipping companies are: CMA CGM, COSCO Shipping Lines, HMM, Evergreen Marine, Yang Ming and Pacific International Lines (PIL).

Despite the drop in maritime traffic in 2020, container freight rates remained above 2019 values, except in the period of annual seasonal low due to the Chinese New Year, according to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

At the end of April, a sustained rise in freight rates began and on July 2, 2020, they were 48% higher than the previous year.

«This suggests that the industry was able to manage supply and thus achieve a price level that allowed it to partially overcome the decrease in demand caused by Covid-19,» said ECLAC.

In 2019, according to Maersk, the world’s leader among shipping companies, activity levels in the port tug markets remained stable. For port towing in Europe, consolidation in the industry persists, leading to stronger competitors and more intense competition.

In Australia, a new competitor was launched at the end of 2018, increasing competition.

The strategic focus remains on improving cost levels and productivity, while utilizing and expanding the global footprint to ensure closer cooperation with target customers.

Cost of container ocean freight, January to June 2019 and January to June 2020 (In dollars per 40-foot container)

Only a few terminal trailer projects were awarded to the market during 2019, but several new projects are in the works and are expected to be awarded during 2020 and 2021.

Shipping companies and the region

To advance in regional integration, ECLAC affirms that infrastructure and logistics must be part of the economic recovery measures packages.

In addition to their relevant direct participation in GDP and employment, they are essential for the production of all goods and services, the supply of essential food and services, and the international competitiveness of trade.

In the current context of high uncertainty, the countries of the region must take actions that allow them to reduce their internal logistics costs and generate value-added services to maintain their competitiveness.

These measures, concluded ECLAC, should be implemented in a coordinated manner with other economic and social measures, to favor an economic recovery with social and environmental benefits. In the case of infrastructure and logistics, four elements are crucial: investment, interoperability, regional integration and logistics intelligence.