Containerships in U.S. waters halved, ominous sign of global trade slowdown

In the latest ominous sign of a slowdown in global trade, the number of container ships in U.S. coastal waters has fallen to less than half what it was a year ago, according to Bloomberg. There were 106 container ships in ports and off shorelines late Sunday, compared with 218 a year earlier, a 51% drop, according to ship data analyzed by Bloomberg.


Weekly port calls in U.S. coastal waters fell to 1,105 as of March 4 from 1,906 a year earlier, according to IHS Markit. This is the lowest level since mid-September 2020


Bad weather may be partly to blame. More broadly, slowing global consumer demand, fueled by slower economic growth and higher inflation, is reducing the number of ships needed to move goods from key Asian manufacturing hubs to the U.S. and Europe


As of late Sunday, the Port of New York/New Jersey, currently facing an impending winter storm, had reduced the number of vessels at the port to just three, compared with a two-year median of 10. There are only 15 ships in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the shipping hubs on the West Coast, compared to an average of 25 ships under normal circumstances.


Meanwhile, idle containership capacity in February was near the highest level since August 2020, according to maritime consultancy Drewry.

Post time: Mar-15-2023