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Post-Covid container demand boom coming to an end

The Drewry Global Port Throughput Index stood at 141.1 points in April 2022 some 1.5% lower than April 2021, although up 1.7% on March 2022.

The year-on-year was seen as a sign that the demand surge seen from Q3/Q4 2020 as the world came out of the first round of Covid lockdowns is now on the wane. “This is further evidence that the post-Covid demand boom appears to have run its course,” Drewry said.

The post-Covid lockdown demand boom and supply chain congestion have acted to drive container freight rates to record levels.

The largest contributor to the global index- the Greater China region - saw a 1% drop to 150.1 points in April 2022 compared to a year earlier. “It was held back by poor performance at Shanghai where volumes fell 25% month-on-month due to the imposition of Covid lockdowns,” Drewry noted.

The impact of the Chinese Covid lockdowns was felt across Asian ports outside China and throughput was down 4.1% in April 2022 compared to a year earlier.

European port volumes also fell by 3% in April 2022 compared to the same month in 2021 due to the impact of higher energy prices caused by the Ukraine crisis impact production costs and consumer demand.

The only increases were in North America where volumes in April 2022 were up 4.5% on the previous year and Oceania with a 0.5% increase.

Credit Seatrade Maritime News by Marcus Hand

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