The term yo-yo effect already exists, so I can’t coin it for this year so far – even though it would be highly suitable do describe 2021.
We remember well how, in the last year before the outbreak of Covid-19, overcapacities in the maritime affected shipping lines, but also forwarders and operators. The erstwhile lack of demand from shippers has now caught up with our industry with a vengeance. Even though measures to contain the pandemic have been reduced somewhat, or have alternatively, at least, become predictable as part of the transport process, an end to the boom can’t be foreseen this year.
A hangover is inevitable; it follows every intoxication, and will include slacker demand. It will also change the structure of our industry, which is putting itself in new order and will also face new regulations. The latest events have brought politics centre stage again, which will correct distortions, at the latest in the medium term.
The carriers are at the prime objects thereof. Their alliance structure represents an anomaly. There’s plenty of talk to be heard of shipowners finding their own success a bit scary. They should manage their current dominant market position, which has been seen before, wisely. This is the only way for partners to remain partners.
Enjoy your read!