Global container trade decreased by around 10% in the second quarter of 2020, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic that affected both the supply chain and demand, noted the Maersk shipping company.
According to the company, container demand is expected to gradually improve sequentially in the third quarter of 2020, although at this stage it is not possible to pin down development due to the uncertain impact of Covid-19 on global economies and risk. of a relapse in demand and spread of the virus.
Similarly, container demand is projected to decline significantly in 2020 compared to 2019, but the shape of the recovery in world trade volumes remains difficult to predict, as it will be determined by the interaction between the trajectory of the virus and government policies in relation to the economy.
East-West container trade decreased 13% in the second quarter, compared to the second quarter of 2019, substantially more than 5.7% in the first quarter, as the Covid-19 outbreak led to widespread country lockdowns in Europe and U.S.
European imports from Asia decreased 13% and American imports from Asia fell 7.2%, while Asian imports from Europe and the United States decreased 7.7 percent.
North-South container trade overall fell 12% in the second quarter.
On the other hand, the world nominal container fleet grew 3.1% in the second quarter and stood at 23.4 million TEUs at the end of the quarter.
Deliveries amounted to 220,000 TEU (26 vessels) during the second quarter, while 104,000 TEU (43 vessels) were scrapped.
The slowdown in demand driven by Covid-19 and increased uncertainty continued to cause suspensions of container services and travel blocking.
Consequently, the idle fleet remained high at 7.9% of the fleet (1.8 million TEU) at the end of the second quarter, and the effective fleet capacity of the second quarter decreased 9.4% compared to the second quarter of 2019.
During the second quarter, only 12,000 TEU (8 vessels) were ordered, resulting in an order book to fleet ratio of 9.4% at the end of the second quarter.