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The global car carrier sector has seen extremely strong market recovery in the past 12 months. Fueled by very bullish Asian export volumes and aided by inefficiencies in the supply chain, the supply and demand equation has really shifted in favour of the shipping lines. Soring freight rates, T/C rates and stock prices all remind us that Christmas is near.

However, it’s easy to be blind-sighted by recent events and one should not forget that the average earnings for operators in the past 10-12 years have been far from sustainable – financially speaking.

Back to the infamous crystal ball again… how long will the party last? Here at Esgian, we try to make sense at big data. Data in its own right doesn’t carry much value – it’s how you interpret the data and how you make the insights accessible that unlocks real value.

Below you see the result of our latest addition to the Esgian Shipping Suite for RoRo – 80 000 + port calls analysed down to the minute and what transpires? Well, the graph below may suggest that we’re entering the afterparty as the “time spent in port” trend was broken in May. Even if activity still remains high, the average time a vessel spends in port is declining. In a pure economic sense, this means more vessel capacity is freed up, ceteris paribus. On the other side of the equation awaits global demand for cars and the macro-economic picture is indeed somewhat blurry.

So, is the party still on? Afterparty anybody? …it is it time to turn off the lights and hit the sack? Only time will tell and we’ll be tracking the development day by day, hour by hour as this is indeed an interesting red line to follow.

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