Delivering the keynote address to the 2nd Containerisation & Liner Shipping China conference in Tianjin, Dan Ryan, APL’s Greater China president, said that a unique set of circumstances had rapidly changed the container shipping environment.
“Global economic conditions have shifted dramatically this year,” said Ryan. He pointed to escalating financial market turmoil, low consumer confidence and rising inflation and commodity prices. The economic slowdown had even hampered demand for China’s products in major consuming markets such as the US and Europe and, as a result, has slowed China’s industrial output growth.
According to Ryan, the negative macroeconomic picture was compounded by “a materially different” cost environment, with fuel prices still at historical highs despite recent adjustments. He pointed out that, in four years, fuel had risen from 40% to more than 70% of total ship operating costs in the trans-Pacific trade.