Global shipping industry affected by COVID-19

— Container shipping

“Because some countries have closed their borders and sealed ports, many of our original orders have been postponed or canceled, not to mention new orders.” A person engaged in shipping logistics stated to the reporter in frustration.

Because of the spread of the new coronavirus epidemic, global trade has suffered a major impact, and the port industry has encountered severe challenges. For example, the negative impact of Shanghai Port in China is more obvious. In the first two months of this year, cargo throughput was 88.12 million tons, a year-on-year decrease of 14.7%, and cargo throughput fell to fourth place in the country. The decline in the throughput of Shanghai Port is only a microcosm of the impact of the Chinese port industry on the epidemic.

Now, the ‘pause key’ has been pressed all over the world.

As of March 31, according to incomplete statistics, currently half of China’s top ten trading partners have announced the closure of ports. This means that even if the international shipping market remains unimpeded, the goods may not be received after they are shipped to overseas ports, causing the entire trade chain to be equally incomplete. Some countries directly block foreign trade. Therefore, unless some medical, daily necessities and commodities, another trade demand is bound to shrink sharply.

The shrinking foreign trade demand can also be reflected in the shipping market. According to the average daily freight rate of Panamax (average charter period of 4 routes), as of March 30, the data was 5253 US dollars/day. Although it rose slightly from the previous month, it has fallen by 31.7% compared with the beginning of the year.

— Dry bulk shipping

In addition to the container shipping market was affected, the international dry bulk shipping market has also slumped recently.

The International Baltic Freight Index (BDI), which reflects the trend of the international dry bulk shipping market, showed an overall downward trend. The BDI index fell to 411 points on February 11, the lowest level since March 2016. (The BDI index comprehensively reflects the bulk shipping charges of global minerals, grain, coal, cement, and other civilian and industrial raw materials, and is also closely related to the international economy and commodity trade to a certain extent.)

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