LEXINGTON, Mass. — World trade by all modes of transportation, rebounding strongly from a deep dive during the global economic crisis, will grow 8.5 percent in 2010, according to the latest forecast from IHS Global Insight's World Trade Service.
Total world trade is expected to grow 7.8 percent in 2011.
Carriers are beginning to respond to an upturn in cargo volumes by increasing capacity, according to the First Quarter Trends in World Economy and Trade report from the IHS Global Insight World Trade Service.
Trade volumes on the Far East to Europe routes are forecast to rise 8.0 percent in 2010.
The export trade from Europe to Asia grew in 2009 and is expected to grow in 2010.
Transpacific eastbound trade – from Asia to North America – began to recover in the third quarter 2009, though the downturn in 2009 was 18 percent, and is forecast to grow 10 percent in 2010.
Solid growth is forecast for westbound trade after two years of decline.
Eastbound transatlantic trade from North America to Europe is forecast to return to 2007 levels by 2013. However, westbound transatlantic traffic will not recover to 2007 levels until 2015.
Major container shipping operators recorded huge losses in 2009.
However, in February and March 2010, the number of container ships in layup diminished and stood at 1.2 million TEUs (one TEU is one 20-foot container or its equivalent), or 9.1 percent of the container fleet on March 1, the lowest level since July 2009.
Additional capacity is expected to be taken back into service in the near future as new services are opened and vessels reduce their cruising speed.
The outlook for bulk shipping also is improving following a dramatic reduction in bulk commodity trade over the past year.
IHS Global Insight forecasts bulk trade to grow 8.9 percent in 2010 as commodity consumption demand recovers.
Dry bulk commodity shipping tonnage, including grain, iron ore and coal, fell 2.0 percent in 2009 but is forecast to grow 9.4 percent in 2010, despite decreases in global grain shipments.
Liquid bulk trade — petroleum, liquefied natural gas, and chemicals — is forecast to grow 8.5 percent in 2010. With the oil market well supplied with spare productive capacity of 6 million barrels per day and ample inventories in 2010, trade may continue to rise.
An executive summary of the forecast, "Trends in World Economy and Trade," is available at www.ihsglobalinsight.com/worldtrade.
Kevin Jones of The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at firstname.lastname@example.org.