SeaIntel expects transpac demand to rise 15-20pc in 2011
SEAINTEL Maritime Analysis forecasts demand in the transpacific containerised shipping trades could reach up to 15 to 20 per cent growth during "certain months" of the year, compared to 2010.
"A key element in gaining an understanding of the deep sea container demand on the transpacific in 2011 is the effect of the US retail inventories. Our analysis shows that the re-building of inventories will produce a very sizeable impact on container volumes," said CEO Lars Jensen in a statement.

"This build-up of inventories, from currently very low levels, is expected to give rise to higher than anticipated demand. This increase is likely to happen relatively fast, and could result in a temporarily tight supply/demand balance, with resulting increases in total freight rates - even when faced with the introduction of additional capacity."

The prediction comes despite current forecasts that containerised demand growth in the transpacific as well as the Asia-Europe trades will be in the range of 6-10 per cent this year. "Furthermore the latest trend seems to be a tendency to upgrade the forecasts to around the 9-10 per cent level," said Mr Jensen.

"These forecasts seem to assume a reasonable, but not spectacular, recovery in the US economy in general and retail sales in particular. Lately retail sales forecasts for 2011 have been in the range of four per cent," the statement said.

"The key issue is whether moderate retail sales growth will cause substantial growth in the transpacific eastbound container volumes. This question becomes important, as the transpacific trade is poised to have larger vessels deployed as a result of cascading from the Asia-Europe trade wherein the new 10,000-TEU plus vessels are being introduced," Mr Jensen added.