13 October 2023


This week, shipping analyst Sea-Intelligence issued a report noting that the overall container shipping demand is historically low to global GDP, around -6.8% compared to a growth pattern which would have followed GDP growth. 

Sea Intelligence noted: “Global container demand tended to grow approximately in line with global GDP. In decades past there used to even be a multiplier on top of this, but that had vanished in the pre-pandemic period.” In light of this overall poor demand, the Loadstar reported that the 2M alliance (Maersk and MSC) will revert to a reduced “winter schedule” coverage for Asia–North Europe until December to mitigate the impact of falling demand and the continued erosion of freight rates on the route. From the end of this month, the 2M will blank the sailing of an Asia–North Europe loop for seven weeks.

Carriers now face an ever-lower demand on many sea routes while being in the process of receiving the delivery of a considerable amount of newbuilds: According to the Loadstar, some 190,000 TEU of newbuild capacity was delivered last month, following 180,000 TEU in August, 200,000 TEU in July and an all-time record 300,000 TEU that hit the water in June. And this armada of mostly large container vessels leaving Asian shipyards is set to continue into next year, creating an increasingly worsening disconnect between supply and demand.

Source: Sea-Intellingence, The Loadstar