Drewry: Container carriers lucky to break even in 2015

The market for the major liner carriers is currently under intense pressure from low rates, overcapacity and slow demand. Container carriers should be pleased if they break even in 2015, notes Drewry.

2015 looks like a bleak year for the major container carriers operating on the industry's key trades. Analyst agency Drewry projects in its Container Forecaster newsletter that the carriers will struggle just to break even this this year. An increasingly stable oil price will make it more difficult  for container players on the main trades to cut costs in line with the sliding rates.

Container carriers benefited from the falling oil price in the first quarter of the year, where the industry achieved an operating margin of eight percent, but the significant savings were quickly passed on to customers through significantly lower rates in a development that has forced the carriers into a veritable price war on the biggest trades.

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