More specifically, of the three largest trades, Far East to North America has been the best performing, up by 1.1m TEU (6.4%).

What is more, despite the fact that container volumes appear stronger in the last few months of 2020 when compared to 2019, both the Intra-Asia and Far East to Europe trades remain in negative territory.

BIMCO now expects global container volumes to have fallen by less than 1.5% in 2020, says Peter Sand, BIMCO’s Chief Shipping Analyst. This is far better than what was anticipated when the pandemic raged in Q2. To achieve this, strong capacity management when volumes fell allowed them to minimize their loses.

Regarding the future, Mr. Sand notes that the coming quarters will see a strong focus on the repositioning of empties and address the imbalance caused by the stop-n-go demand of 2020.

What is more, focus will now be shown to the Chinese New Year, which will be different to any other in terms of both celebrations and exports.