Transportation & Logistics Analysis

Monthly Container Shipping Barometer

March 02 2021

Upply is proposing a new monthly feature, the Container Shipping Barometer, so as to follow market developments closely in this particularly volatile period.


In the space of a year, we have moved from a container shipping sector at the edge of the abyss and desperately short of cash to one which is in a state of relative opulence. We have already had the opportunity in our market analyses to explain what factors brought about this turnaround in a general situation marked by the Covid-19 pandemic. These factors are still active enough to affect the way things are developing in this early part of the year, which is a key period for the negotiation of annual contracts.

Our new monthly feature, the Container Shipping Barometer, is built around the three fundamentals of the container shipping industry: prices, operations and services.

For this first edition, let us first look at the trends which have marked the start of 2021, especially:

  • The widening gap between spot rates and contractual rates
  • Service performance indicators at the lowest historical levels
  • The disruption of port operations


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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).
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