2017 Year in Review: Shipping

As we launch into 2018, we look back at a tumultuous year for Australian shipping.

2017 gave us multiple shipping line alliances, acquisitions and mergers with carriers fighting for market shares. Where in the past 15-20 shipping lines controlled the market, the current trend shows that 5-6 main carriers sit on 90% of the global market.

Over the past three years, we have seen a steady increase of container ships docking at Australian ports. Statistics gathered from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport & Regional Economics (BITRE) indicate positive growth prospects for the foreseeable future.

From the period of January to June 2015, to the same period of 2016, there was increase 0.3% of container vessels berthing at Australian ports. Looking at the exact same period from 2016 to 2017, we have recorded a rise of 3.96%, an increase of 77 vessels in total in just six months.

Having an increased number of vessels visiting Australian ports is obviously a key figure, but does not make the expected impact if it does not result in an increased amount of Import/Export cargo. Which is what we will examine below.

If we look at the period of 2015-Jan/Jul and compare it to the same period in 2017, we see an increase of 252,600 TEU’s in just two years. Which equals a 7.71% spike from 2015 to 2017.

With the recent interest in Australian products, especially in Asia, we predict exports have had a major influence in the rise of the total amount of TEU handled through Australian ports.

The peak season also had a huge effect on market. It was unlike anything the industry had and will undoubtedly influence January and February.

Volume and pricing hit an unprecedented level as space in December was in high demand, which leaves us to believe that the December quarter might hit a record amount of TEU’s handled Australia wide.

Our analysis of throughput tonnage demonstrates Sydney handling less tonnage compared to Brisbane, Fremantle and Melbourne.

This is an indicator that Sydney does not handle big volumes of project cargo, usually sent through nearby ports.

In the last two years, total Cargo Weight has remained somewhat consistent in all ports, other than Sydney, which has made a substantial leap of almost four million tonnes in this period.

We can conclude that Fremantle and Brisbane are still heavily involved in break bulk, resource and project cargo, which shows a modest growth in the past two years.

So where does ICE place itself in the growing Australian Ocean-freight Market?

In the past three years, ICE has experienced vast growth across all departments.

We have seen an increase of 34.6% in the number of FCL’s we have handled and 77.73% increase in total LCL CBM.

Our business focus has been on building enduring client relationships underpinned by experienced and knowledgeable staff. Strategic alliances with experienced agents and the implementation of our comprehensive tracking and data analytic platform have also attributed to our success.

Everyone at ICE is proud of being a part of the positive development on the Australian market and look forward to playing an even bigger part in 2018.

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