The containerized maritime industry may be considering developments similar to the 2008 financial crisis, SeaIntelligence said, referring to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The Copenhagen-based maritime consultancy estimates that a potential volume of TEUS 17 million will be lost in container transport, corresponding to 10% of world trade.
In the case of port terminals, a loss of about 80 million TEUs is projected in the amount of volume that will be left unmanaged, says Lars Jensen, CEO of the maritime intelligence firm.
As explained, the real underlying problem is the long-term impact of the pandemic in 2020 and possibly beyond, not only on consumer spending but also on the willingness of companies to order goods in the first place, as well as your ability to do so, as a possible financial liquidity problem is beginning to appear. There is also a realistic risk of bankruptcy.
On the positive side, there are two elements that help carriers. One is the collapse of the oil price, which acts as a short-term cash infusion for carriers who have fuel surcharges based on oil prices two months ago and who pay bargain prices today. The other is the discipline that carriers have demonstrated in navigating empty (blank) spaces and avoiding dumping of freight rates to fill ships.
“This means that, until now, freight rates have been relatively stable despite the impact of China’s coronavirus and it could also be during the next period if we see a new series of blank departures,” according to SeaIntelligence.
“Finally, even if this negative scenario fully unfolds, we must also be prepared for the consequences that will come in the form of a strong rebound in which we will temporarily see capacity shortages and dizzying increases in freight rates for container transport.”