CLARKSON Research’s Container Intelligence Monthly predicts mainlane trade volumes on the Asia-Europe headhaul route will grow seven per cent to 15.6 million TEU in 2015, after the tradelane recorded 8 per cent year-on-year growth in the first nine months of this year. The increase follows an uptick in volumes in the second half of 2013, with northern European imports giving the strongest performance.
Volume growth on the transpacific lanes was slower at 5.6 per cent in the first nine months of 2014, compared to the same period last year, reported Lloyd’s Loading List. An improving US economy has helped lift import volumes from Asia and the International Monetary Fund expects the US economy to have grown by 2.2 per cent by year-end. Peak leg transpacific trade is projected to increase by six per cent to 15.5 million TEU in 2015.
Despite this year’s recovery, the mainlane trades play a smaller part in global trade than in the past. While the mainlane container trade is expected to have grown by nine per cent between 2007 and 2014, volumes on non-mainlane trades are projected to be up 415 per cent over the same period.
The share of world trade conducted on the mainlane trades has fallen from 36 per cent in 2007 to an expected 30 per cent in 2014, Clarksons said. Nevertheless, the recent growth of the mainlane trades has helped boost global container trade volumes from 3.9 per cent in 2012-2013 to an anticipated 6.4 per cent in 2014-2015.