Global Shipping Industry Faces Strenuous Task with Coronavirus Disruption

The global shipping industry faces strenuous task with coronavirus disruption. Container ship operators regard coronavirus as the biggest threat to the shipping sector since 2009.

Disruption in Global Shipping Industry

Henry Byers highlighted the drastic drop-off in global container cargo ship traffic in 2020 due to coronavirus outbreak. It further predicted this disruption would have a ripple effect on all forms of transport that could last throughout 2020. Besides, people dependent on freight business may see a high dip in freight volumes in Canada and US.  

Cancellation of Ship Sailings

Container analytics firm Alphaliner confirmed the cancellation of 40 container ship sailings in eight week period. In addition, the global container carrier has lost more than 1.67 million TEUs since coronavirus outbreak. As a result, shipping companies have suffered losses exceeding USD 1.5 billion. Also, tanker rates have fallen over 80% due. International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) revealed empty sailings of various container lines, putting hundreds of millions in jeopardy.

Severely Hit Shipping Sector 

Singapore’s Pacific International Lines stated that it will be withdrawing from the transpacific market completely as container shipping rates hit rock bottom. Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO), the world’s largest shipowners association stated the hit is severe on global shipping industry. The coronavirus outbreak paced up in a time when the shipping industry was already struggling to comply with emissions regulated by International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Impact on Asian Markets 

Highlighting the dependency of Asian countries on Chinese shipping lines, BIMCO said that the effect of disruption would be limited to intra-Asian markets like South Korea, Japan, and Singapore. However, in the second scenario, fewer cargo containers have been sailing for America, resulting in a shortage of empty containers to supply further to international market lines.

The situation was worse in the middle of February when China was in complete lock down. Apart form this ,the German shipping company, Hillebrand stated that immediate relief impossible as movement of containers from China just began last week.

In all, the pandemic has turned out hugely disruptive for the shipping industry and is leading to a recession globally.


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