Hellenic Shipping News reports the following:
Tanker charter rates have plunged more than 80% as the coronavirus outbreak slams the brakes on major economies, costing the sector hundreds of millions of dollars in lost business, a senior shipping industry official said.
While some of the revenue is gone for good, a trade rebound could put the sector back into calmer waters later this year, International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) Secretary General Guy Platten told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday.
The ICS is the main trade association for merchant shipowners and operators, representing more than 80% of the world’s merchant fleet.
Platten called the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus “hugely disruptive” for the shipping sector, triggering a massive decrease of raw material imports in economic powerhouse China because factories had stopped and are only starting to recover.
“On the finished goods side of it you’ve got empty containers for example in China and you’ve got a shortage of containers in the (United) States because the manufactured goods are not getting out of China and being transported round the world. It’s affecting all the supply chain throughout the shipping industry,” he said.