Carriers are expected to set new financial records in the second quarter as freight revenues spiral.
A survey of carriers’ cargo liftings shows that volumes declined significantly in the Q1 2021, reversing two previous quarters of growth and taking volumes largely back to with pre-pandemic levels. On average, liftings fell 6% QoQr for these carriers in Q1 2021.
Some Asian carriers saw reductions around the 10% range. Liftings for the surveyed container lines now resemble Q4 ’19 volumes. This may come as a surprise – as the rates enjoyed by the industry soared to such an extent that it’s now attracting anti-trust attention
However, anecdotal evidence suggests a range of logistics issues, in part created by the pandemic, have reduced overall supply chain efficiency to such a degree that carriers need notably more ships to transport the same amount of cargo.
Port congestion, crew change delays, box shortages, and the Suez Canal blockage have tied up tonnage, while available capacity was also being constrained by an apparent increase in vessel accidents, incidents and “mishaps”.
Regardless, carriers are expected to set new financial records in the second quarter as freight revenues spiral.