Asia-Europe Box Volume Surges 56 Percent
Container traffic from Asia to Europe surged by 56 percent in February from a year ago and was close to pre-recession levels, according to the latest figures from ocean carriers. Westbound dry and reefer shipments to Europe rose to 960,800 20-foot equivalent units from 617,920 TEUs in February 2009, the European Liner Affairs Association said.
But "we should be cautious because February 2009 was the low point in the recession in the Europe-Asia trade," the Brussels-based carrier group added.
"When we compare the 2010 figures for January and February with those for 2008, they are virtually the same," the ELAA said.
"All lines would like to forget 2009 and in doing our projections this is what we should do."
Eastbound volume from Europe to Asia climbed just over 26 percent year over year in February to 452,600 TEUs from 358,820 TEUs.
Eastbound traffic out of Europe also returned to 2008 levels in January and February and the Indian sub-continent and Middle East trades "show exactly the same pattern," the ELAA said.
"It is only the North Atlantic which is still languishing with volumes significantly below 2008," the group said.
Westbound traffic from Europe rose 13.5 percent in February from a year ago to 242,400 TEUs from 213,561 TEUs while eastbound shipments from North America climbed nearly 16 percent to 223,400 TEUs from 192,879 TEUs.
The price index for Asia-Europe shipments rose to 114 in February from 103 in January and 48 in March 2009. The eastbound index stood at 98.