Surprisingly bright outlook for container shipping
The Berlin (Germany)-based European credit rating agency Scope ratings published its 2020 outlook on container shipping. According to its expectations, and maybe surprisingly, the container shipping industry is sailing into less choppy waters this year.
Due to improved cost structures and greater economies of scale, big carriers will have more weight to face regulatory headwinds, higher capital expenditure and slowing economic growth. From a financial point of view, the gap in credit quality will further widen between the members of the three international shipping alliances and the rest of the industry.
“The credit outlook for the container-shipping sector is stable – which is quite something for an industry that has been buffeted by excess shipping capacity, volatile fuel prices and freight rates in recent years,” says Denis Kuhn, analyst at Scope.
“However, downside risks remain, notably in China, where the recent coronavirus outbreak will have at least a short-term impact on imports, exports and economic activity.” (mw)