According to MANA,In its latest shipping review and outlook, Clarksons Research says that it expects container traffic to increase from 175.4m teu to 182.5m teu in 2016, with fragmented growth anticipated on both the mainline and non-mainline trades.
On the headhaul Asia-Europe trade following the negative impact of inventory level adjustments, weak European import demand and reduced Russian imports last year, in which volumes fell by an estimated 3.7%, trade growth on the route is projected to return to positive territory in 2016.
Clarksons says that it expects peak leg Asia-Europe traffic to climb 3.8% to 15.4m teu this year, but growth on the route will once again be subject to the fate and indeed weakness of European economies.
Westbound transpacific trade is also expected to rebound in 2016, with volume growth of 1.4% projected for the 12-month period, having fallen by 3.4% in 2015. In the opposite direction trade growth is expected to slow from the 6% recorded last year but will remain healthy at around 4.6%.
Growth in intra-Asia traffic meanwhile is anticipated to accelerate to 4.4% in 2016 against the previous year, when trade grew 3.1%, representing its slowest pace since 2009, as turbulence in the Chinese economy and the impact of this trend upon other parts of Asia took hold.
On north-south routes container trade growth in 2015 was hit hard by the impact of severe commodity price falls on the import levels of commodity exporting developing economies, resulting in a disappointing 1.4% rise in overall volumes.
For 2016, Clarksons expects trade to accelerate to 3.4% although it said that this outlook remains subject to the risk of further commodity prices weakness.
For non-mainline routes the London-based analysts are forecasting a 5.4% jump in trade, down slightly on 2015 growth of 7.6%.