Coronavirus Impact on shipping industry and container traffic

impact on shipping industry

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The outburst of coronavirus and the preventive implementation of lockdown across the globe have left a mixed impact on shipping industry and vessel activity.

In the first quarter of 2020, the global health crisis coupled with crude oil price crash smacked the entire world, leaving an evil impact on shipping industry and, resultantly, on international trade. However, a recent revelation of data from Vesseltracker, the most precise global shipping database, has shown that the severity of impacts has been different in different sectors.

According to the data, while the reverberations of pandemic and crude oil price crash are still intense on cruise ship companies, a quick recovery can be noticed in the seafaring of bulk, container, and chemical industries.

Varying impacts of COVID-19 on shipping activities

  • Cruise Ship Activities

Tourism is one of the majorly affected sectors by the pandemic. All the international, national, state and even city borders are barred for non-essential travel.

Cruise ship activity has collapsed, with global port calls falling by 800 port calls per week in three months, from 900 port calls per week in January to 100 port calls per week in April. A total reduction of 35% has been observed in the year until now as compared to 2019.

  • Other Vessel Activities

Though, the shipping activity of other vessel types too remains low as compared to 2019 but is still in a way better position than cruise ships. A drop of 15% has been noticed for roll-on/roll-off of vehicles, 3% in containers and crude oil, and 1% in bulk vessel traffic.

Recovery Expectations for Shipping Industry in China

According to an article published on Wood Mackenzie’s website, the leading stockbroker in the UK, China is, though, beyond its apex, it is around four weeks ahead of other countries in recovering from the pandemic’s impact on shipping industry. The expectations are that China’s recovery can become a source of guidance to the rest of the world.

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