Transportation & Logistics Analysis

Maritime transport: an improvement in services is finally taking shape

August 16 2021

The maritime container transport market eased slightly in July. The scenario of the freight rate market coming in on a high seems to be confirmed along with a tendency towards an improvement in the quality of service.

An increase in ships' average speeds, demand which has reached a plateau compared to the growth of the first half of the year and the launch of new capacity from September: these are the three parameters which are currently influencing the maritime container shipping market.

These weak signals, when combined, should have a positive impact on the “re-metronomizing” of liner shipping services and therefore on the decongestion of terminals, which has a direct impact on the disorganization of services. It is therefore reasonable for shippers to foresee an improvement in the quality of service in the coming weeks. However, it remains to be seen if this will continue over the long term, quality is more akin to a long-distance race than a sprint!

In this context, a scenario of the freight rate market coming in on a high seems to have been confirmed for this second part of the summer. There are several contributing factors to this: the resumption of the global pandemic due to the Delta variant, the strong return of inflation on consumer prices and the now very clear threats of sanctions for abuse of a dominant position by shipping companies in the United States.

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Expert in Ocean shipping for 25 years, Jerome puts all his knowledge of the industry to contribution for Upply. Ship captain at heart, he has written the English-French Lexicon of Containerized Shipping (Paris: CELSE, 2001).