Slowing maritime flows

According to Loadstar, “January import volumes at the ten largest US container ports fell 17.9% against the record throughput of January last year, with┬áthe biggest declines at west coast ports.” This morning Bloomberg adds, “Container trade in China has been slow to pick up following Chinese New Year in late January, suggesting the market will likely continue to struggle in coming months as blank sailings have failed to arrest the slide in spot rates.” Demand has fallen deep and fast. The International Shipping News summarizes the current situation as, “the global shipping industry is facing a complex situation, with a freefall in container rates, weak demand, and a shift in trade routes. While the shipping industry may witness a rebound in the future, the current outlook remains uncertain.”