Reports in recent weeks have shown that container volumes being shipped on the Asia to Europe route have risen again for the 3rd consecutive year.
The amount of containers being shipped on the route show an increase of 7.4% in 2014 totalling 15.4 million TEU, as compared to the respectable total of 14.3 million in 2013.
Unfortunately, the same reports show that the increase in cargo volumes from Europe to Asia is still pretty slow. The volumes of cargo being shipped on the east bound trip were up by no more than 1.3% this year and total only 7 million TEU, even with the large growth in demand in December.
Despite trade volumes looking healthy, freight rates remained very unstable with costs fluctuating month on month. While the shipping lines caused a stir with their rate increases coming in to play, they never lasted long with rates reaching an all year low in December.
So, while growth on the east bound leg (Europe – Asia) is slow and sea freight rates are still fairly unstable… 2014 was a decent year for the industry. The year ended with rates low, just where we like them, and we have seen growth in trade between Europe and Asia regardless of how small it may have been in some cases.
None the less, Sea freight continues to be the first choice for international traders, and becomes more accessible for smaller businesses every time we check.