Box trade still revealing significant global decline



Major global container port hubs have suffered yet further declines in box traffic, according to the latest figures for the month of May. The port of Singapore saw a sharp 20.3% drop in container volumes, while an 18% fall in container imports hit the Port of Los Angeles.

A clear indication that the container trade may not have yet seen the worst of its downward plight, the prolonged decline is an ominous sign for any hope of market recovery. If the negative trend is continuing to hit some of the world’s most prominent container ports, then it doesn’t bode well for the rest of the world either.

In addition to the port’s year-on-year slump in box trade volumes, Singapore’s main container terminal operator PSA Singapore saw its figures drop 19.4% to 2.04m teu and the country’s second largest terminal operator, Jurong Port, revealed that its May volumes had plunged 44.7%.

At the Port of Long Beach, the second largest in the US, container imports fell by 22% and exports fell by 23.8% year-on-year, indicating the severity and indeed the universality of the container trade’s long-suffering market slump, with no recovery in sight just yet.