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Container shipping congestion declines as world trade volumes drop in October
Dr.G.R.Balakrishnan Nov 09 2022 Shipping News

Container shipping congestion declines as world trade volumes drop in October

Congestion in global container shipping is receding as world trade volumes recorded a 0.8 per cent monthly drop in October, Kiel Trade Indicator data shows.

Currently, 10 per cent of all goods shipped worldwide are in congestion.

For the US — the world’s biggest economy — the indicator showed no change to import levels but a decline of 2.7 per cent in export levels.

Europe’s biggest economy, Germany, saw a drop of 0.9 per cent and 0.2 per cent in imports and exports, respectively. For the EU, October trade was little changed, with no change in imports and exports up 1 per cent on a monthly basis.

However, Asia’s biggest and the world’s most populous economy, China, emerged as a clear outlier. It showed no significant change to import levels (0.9 per cent) but a strong increase in exports (10.1 per cent).

Global trade is showing an unsteady path, even if this development is not evenly distributed across all countries. German exports have been following this sideways movement in price-adjusted terms for several months now, so the difficult economic conditions are obviously having a noticeable impact on German exporters,” Vincent Stamer, head of Kiel Trade Indicator, said.

“China’s export growth over the month of September is a positive outlier in global trade. It remains to be seen if this marks an easing of China’s restrictive zero-Covid strategy and if this implies a sustainable positive trend for Chinese exports,” MrStamer said.

The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted significant challenges in the logistics sector, with many cargo customers struggling to find shipping containers amid labour disruption in the industry. The acute supply chain bottlenecks have led to congestion and delays at ports, a shortage in containers and a sharp rise in the cost of shipping goods.