North America (Change)

U.S. ports should see sharply lower container imports in the 2020 second quarter, but throughput could pick up in the second half—assuming there is not a major resurgence of coronavirus cases. “The container shipping industry has spent the past month in the eye of the storm [and will] now face the full impact of the international spread of COVID-19,” said U.K.-based consultancy Maritime Strategies International (MSI) in its latest monthly outlook. Then, after a “disastrous” second quarter, MSI expects “an uneven recovery in mainline volumes in the third quarter.” “Attention is turning to how soon container trade will get back to normal,” the consultancy explained. “In reality, there will be a high degree of differentiation by region and by industry. Consumer retail goods are of course a huge driver of containerized trade, but their share of overall volume is sometimes overstated.

Container Import Weakness Could Peak in 2Q2020, May 6, 2020,