Fewer Containerships In The US Waters Reflects Trade Slowdown

The number of container vessels in the US coastal waters has dropped to less than half of the count of what was a year earlier, in the most recent ominous sign of slowing worldwide trade.

There were 106 container vessels off the coastline and in port around late Sunday, compared with 218 at this time last year, a 51% drop per vessel data analyzed by Bloomberg.

Fewer Containerships In The US Waters Reflects Trade Slowdown
Image for representation purposes only

Data received from IHS Markit reflected that the weekly count of port calls in the US waters via March 4 had slowed to 1,105 from 1,906 registered the year before. That’s the lowest level since mid-September back in 2020.

Poor weather could be partly to blame. Also, more broadly, a slowdown in worldwide consumer demands — driven by higher inflation and poorer economic growth — is translating into fewer vessels required to ship goods from top manufacturing hubs of Asia to Europe and the US.

Ships in the port of New Jersey/New York are currently experiencing an incoming winter storm, fell to three as of late Sunday, and compared with a two-year median of 10. There were 15 vessels in the West Coast shipping hubs of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which typically experiences a median of 25 vessels.

Meanwhile, the vessel capacity of idled containers in February was close to the highest level since August 2020, per maritime consultant Drewry.

References: Business Times, BNN Bloomberg

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