Balancing the Imbalances in Container Shipping

The financial crisis contributed to a significant imbalance between supply and demand in the container shipping industry. Now, burdened by falling freight rates and profit margins, carriers are looking for answers.

The outlook for world trade and container shipping volumes is surprisingly positive. Despite economic downturns and uncertainty, world trade value is expected to grow by 19 percent from 2011 to 2014, which will result in an almost 90 percent increase since 2005 (see figure 1). Recent forecasts of container shipping volumes show similarly attractive growth rates taking place in the next three to five years.

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