Provisional trade lane data from Container Trades Statistics (CTS) reported that global shipping container traffic increased 10 percent year-on-year in Q1 2017. According to the report, intra-regional trade was the primary driver of growth with volumes up by 17 percent, versus seven percent for deep-sea traffic.
CTS figures for the Greater China region shows nearly half of the extra 2.6 million TEU volumes handled in the first three months of 2017 came from trade with neighboring intra-Asia partners, while domestic cabotage and trade with North America each contributed another two-tenths of the additional volumes. While the rebound in container volumes appears to be broad-based it is clear from its well above-average growth that China is very much at the epicentre.
The average volume growth for the top six carriers, who operate about 30 percent of the world’s containership fleet, in the first quarter of 2017 was 10 percent. There was a wide spread between the slowest growing company Zim (four percent) to the fastest growing line MOL (17 percent).