According to MANA, containers carried on the Asia-Europe trade continued where they left off in the second half of last year in the first quarter of this year, rising 5.2% against the corresponding period of 2016.
The latest data published by Container Trades Statistics shows that box numbers from January through March rose from 3.62m teu to 3.81m teu year on year, as the economic recovery of key European states continues to drive growth in Asian imports to the Continent.
First-quarter growth was boosted by a spike in traffic in March, when carriers shifted 1.35m teu, representing a rise of 8.4% over the 1.25m teu moved last year, according to CTS.
This late cargo surge in the quarter helped to offset a 5.4% fall in figures for February, which coincided with the traditional slowdown on the trade in the post-Chinese New Year period. With the Chinese holidays falling in late January, volumes moved between Asia and Europe in February fell below 1m teu.
In the opposite direction, volume growth in the first quarter reached double-digit proportions.
Volumes in March grew by 10.5% over last year, while those moved in January and February were up 23.3% and 6.6% respectively.