Everyone knew the container shipping boom would end — it was a one-off spike driven by a pandemic and government stimulus, not a permanent change in fundamentals. But no one knew how container shipping markets would play out after the boom.
The consensus soon after the market peaked was that consumer demand would sink after stimulus was withdrawn and the U.S. would enter a recession. The liner industry would then reduce capacity to match lower demand by “blanking” (canceling) sailings, stabilizing spot rates above breakeven and supporting profitable contract rates.
Shipping lines would swiftly scrap older tonnage and decline to renew existing leases, replacing older leased vessels with more fuel-efficient newbuildings.
View entirety: Freightwaves