Hamburg Süd hit by slowdown in Latin American key market

Family-owned container carrier Hamburg Süd, now among the global Top 10, was hit by the economic downturn on the carrier's key markets in Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela.

The family-owned (Oetker Group) container carrier Hamburg Süd, which in 2014 entered the global Top 10, was hit by the economic slowdown on the carrier's Latin American key markets last year, even though the German carrier with its Brazilian subsidiary increased its total cargo volumes by two percent, to 3.4 million teu, according to a financial statement published Thursday by the carrier, which is otherwise sparse about financial information.

The weak economic development in Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela contributed to the low, and in some cases negative, growth on the North-South trade lanes, says the carrier, which has made these trades, with significant reefer cargoes, its specialty. However, the trades were far from able to fulfill the expectations as so-called 'golden trades', as they have been referred to by numerous analysts in light of prospects for towering growth rates in the emerging South American economies. The reason for this is not least the current overcapacity on the routes, which has been built up alongside carriers cascading larger ships onto the North-South routes in order to make room for the ultra-large ships on Asia-North Europe.

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