Saturday , 18 January 2020
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Global freight volumes show an increasing dependency on Asia-led growth, according to the latest data collected by the International Transport Forum.

Volumes indicate Asia still leads growth

The overall picture continues to be uncertain, both in the European Union (EU) and the United States, with imports remaining below the 2008 pre-crisis levels while exports to Asia remain high, increasing the dependency on Asia- and export-led growth.

Total US external trade by sea has fallen back to the 2009 level, 13% below that of 2008; trade in the EU has stagnated at the June 2008 level (-1% compared to June 2008).

Sea freight data indicates weak import demand both in the EU and the US, as imports by tonnage remain below pre-crisis levels; in the EU imports fell -10%, while US imports declined further at -25%.

Recent data on inland freight transport by road and rail also shows weak domestic activity, again remaining stagnant in Q4-2012 in both regions.  Road volumes fell further in the EU to 15% below the 2008 peak, the lowest figure reported since 2008.

Although Asia, and more specifically China, remains the driver of growth, the recent signs of a slowing economy are seen by China’s imports by sea from North Atlantic economies, which have declined since mid-2012.