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Breakbulk July 2018

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July 2018 | The Journal of Commerce 11 www.joc.com Breakbulk & Project Cargo EUROPE'S BREAKBULK, HEAVY-LIFT and project cargo shipping business is hoping the long-awaited rebound in demand, with volumes and freight rates edging up, doesn't turn out to be a flash in the pan. The market has finally turned the corner because of rising demand, a contracting supply of vessels, and a reduced threat from rival sectors, including container shipping, accord- ing to Drewry Shipping Consultants. "Rates are never stratospheric in this sector, but we believe [there will be] growth of around 2 to 3 percent per year," said Susan Oatway, the London-based consultancy's leading multipurpose shipping analyst. But even this modest increase is a boon for a sector that suffered some of the worse conditions in "in living memory," in the third quarter of 2016, Drewry noted previously. The industry is cashing in on the accelerating world economy that is impacting its key markets, notably the oil-gas sector, which is head- ing toward its strongest financial performance in a decade as crude prices scale four-year highs. The petrochemicals and commodities sectors are also on a roll with in- creased spending on equipment and infrastructure boosting demand for heavy-lift and project cargo lines. The breakbulk market took a hit at the start of June when Presi- dent Trump imposed tariffs on US imports of steel and aluminium from the EU, Canada, and Mexico, but the Europe's breakbulk sector optimistic as demand and rates turn upward By Bruce Barnard Bremenports GmbH & Co. KG

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