Container Trades Statistics data reveals impact of a dip in European imports

SHIPPING lines operating on the transatlantic trade lane saw a small decline in volumes in February, as European imports took a tumble, but there was growth in the opposite direction.

The latest figures from Container Trades Statistics show that total volumes on the trade lane — in both the eastbound and westbound direction — reached 509,900 teu in February, down from 510,400 teu a year ago.

In the headhaul westbound direction, carryings increased 5.7% on-year in February to reach 297,000 teu.

In the opposite direction, volumes for the month declined by 7.1% compared with last year, to 212,900 teu.

Although volumes for February slipped compared with last year, total carryings for the first two months of the year are slightly ahead of the same period in 2013.

Total trade lane volumes for the first two months reached 992,700 teu, up from 985,000 teu a year earlier.

Although volumes are roughly in line with last year’s levels, rates have taken a tumble in both directions.

The CTS price index, which uses the average trade lane freight rate for 2008 as an index level of 100, for services from Europe to North America slipped to 84 in February compared with 88 last year. This represents a 4.5% on-year decline.

The February index for the opposite direction is down to 89 compared with 95 a year ago, representing a decline of 6.3%.

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