Container Shipping To See Extended Peak Season

Container shipping is expected to see an extended peak season this year, with no signs of a slowdown in demand, believes Hapag-Lloyd CEO Rolf Habben Jansen, warning that if demand picked up in the traditional third-quarter peak season it would extend beyond the traditional Golden Week slowdown. 

“People will start to ship early and it will probably last longer than usual,” he said, noting that demand was still strong, and unlikely to change soon. “Inventories are low, which is why people are eager to get stuff shipped; but even once we are beyond the pandemic, it’s not unlikely that people will want more inventory.”

He expects demand “will stay robust for an extended period of time”, exacerbating the current delays in the supply chain. “The theme remains congestion,” he notes. “The US is improving a little bit, but there are still ships waiting and we have not made the progress we wanted to in the second quarter. We need to have a not too strong peak season there to get out of the difficulties, which is not what we foresee at the moment.”

On top of the current demand was a “backlog of growth” from the decline in volumes shipped in the past year that still needed to catch up.

(Source: Lloyd’s Loading List)