1 billion tons of goods washed away by the Coronavirus, an expected downturn of 4.1% compared to the previous year. 2020 confirms that it is shipping’s annus horribilis, at least judging by estimates published by Clarkson Research yesterday.
At the International Union of Marine Insurance conference , the consultancy firm’s managing director, Stephen Gordon, explained that the world’s combined GDP will decrease by 4.9% in 2020, double the 2.5% reduction recorded in the 12 months following the start of the economic crisis in 2018.
China – the world’s largest shipping market – saw its maritime traffic shrink by 10% between April and May and a further 4% between June and July. Both domestic industrial production and the and the Chinese purchasing manager’s index have however shown more robust data during the summer, a sign that the worst could already be behind us.
According to Mr. Gordon, shipping has been an example of resilience against Covid-19 backlashes. In terms of performance, it ranks in the top bracket compared to other sectors.
Overall, in 2020 the average weekly distance covered by merchant ships of all types and sizes is down by 10.8% compared to 2019.
Translation by Giles Foster