Global Shipping Outlook For 2018 Remains Negative, Says Fitch

FITCH Ratings says the global outlook for the shipping industry remains negative for next year due to lingering overcapacity in most sectors.

“The overcapacity in shipping undermines the current rebound in dry bulk and container shipping rates and puts in doubt its longevity,” the agency's senior director Angelina Valavina said in a report released last Tuesday.

“We do not expect a material improvement in market fundamentals in 2018, given lingering overcapacity,” she said, adding that “only prudent capacity management” could reverse the sector fundamentals and lead to a sustained recovery in freight rates.  

The International Monetary Fund has forecast global trade growth of 4% for 2018, compared with 4.2% this year and 2.4% in 2016, according to the report.

That should be supportive for container volumes, which are projected to grow by more than 4.5% in 2017 and 2018. But supply growth could reach 5.5% in 2018 from 4% in 2017 as mega ships are planned.