Economic impact on container business globally could be significant: report

Covid-19 was set to knock out some 1.7m teu of container business, according to research from Denmark-based Sea-Intelligence.

Using an extremely approximate average of $1,000 per teu in freight rates, that would translate into a $1.7bn shortfall in revenues for carriers. It would also equal 1% of the total global volume in 2019.

“Another way to look at this is to note that global container volumes grew 0.7% in 2019. The Coronavirus has thus more than erased the full global growth seen in 2019,” Sea-Intelligence said in its most recent weekly report. Such a drop would also lead to a handling shortfall in terminals around the world of around 6m to 6.8m teu.

Peter Sand, BIMCO’s chief shipping analyst said in a report issued late last week that “we are seeing carriers trying to mitigate the low container volumes in Chinese ports by blanking sailings. If the situation continues, we could start to see global supply outages in retail stores. Manufacturing in Europe and North America could also start to decline, as some supply chains are reliant upon the Chinese semi-finished goods,”