COLOGRAPHY GROUP: OCEAN FREIGHT GROWTH WILL EXCEED AIR FREIGHT
Global vessel tonnage in 2003 will grow 4.9 percent, compared to an increase of 2 percent for global air freight, according to the Colography Group, an Atlanta-based provider of strategic planning services.
This would be the first time ocean tonnage growth surpassed air growth in the 13 years that the Colography Group has been tracking global traffic patterns.
The group predicts the value of all goods shipped internationally in 2003 will reach $5.9 trillion, a 4.3 percent increase from 2002 levels. About $2.3 trillion will move by air, a 4.4 percent gain from 2002; while $3.6 trillion will by sea, a 4.3 percent increase.
The group’s study measures goods moving only in international commerce and excludes domestic services.
“The gap between vessel and air-cargo tonnage growth has actually been narrowing in recent years. This underscores the impact of the global economic slowdown on air-dependent industries such as semiconductors, electronics and telecommunications. Our 2003 projections suggest more of the same for the balance of the year,” said Ted Scherck, president of The Colography Group.
“Although shipping activity is projected to be sluggish, the projected growth in the value of air-shipped goods indicates that, while units are getting smaller and shipping is less frequent than in the past, the goods moving by air are of a higher value than ever before,” Scherck said.
The group anticipates Eastern Europe will report the fastest growth rate — 10.2 percent — in air export tonnage. Central America will be second with a projected 7.1-percent growth rate. Western Europe, North and South America, and Australia/Oceania are expected to lag behind the world average of 2 percent. Asia, with a 2.2-percent growth will only exceed the average by a slight margin.
“The overall figures still portray an industry struggling with the impact of global recession,” Scherck said.