European Imports Expected to Rise After Fourth Quarter Drop

Containerized imports to North European ports are expected to rise just below 3 percent in this first quarter of 2012, after dropping nearly 7 percent in the quarter prior in 2011.  The European recession is having an impact on container shipping revenue as port traffic continues to drop.  In response shipping lines have been trying to increase rates in one of the world’s busiest trade lanes for container shipments.  Analysts are predicting a very slow first half of 2012, as European consumer spending is on a down turn and vessel demand still struggling to gain momentum.  According to the North Europe Global Port Tracker, export volumes are expected to rise 5 percent over the course of 2012 with imports expected to grow by 3 percent.