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Breakbulk July 2018

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BREAKBULK & PROJECT CARGO SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION July 2018 | The Journal of Commerce 23 www.joc.com FOR BREAKBULK AND project carriers, the protracted recession has produced an unsurprising, harsh effect on their business levels. The results have been minimal freight offerings for newly expanded fleets and a depressed rate structure. Concerns for return on investment quickly gave way to survival strategies. However, guarded optimism is currently emerging as the order of the day. While trade indicators suggest an emergence from the economic doldrums, industry officials are somewhat hesitant to assign a specific timeline to the process. For the most part, they foresee rate and volume stability for the balance of the year with a quantifiable rally possibly beginning in 2019. Others expect the recovery timeline to shift to the early 2020s. Some signs of stirring among long- postponed projects are being seen, particularly in energy-related ventures, with investment commitments again being made. Mining, chemical, and infrastructure development are also expected to soon begin to contribute to shipment volumes. Concurrently, wear and tear on the heavy equipment used in site preparation and facility construction generates recurring shipments of replacement rolling stock, and these are also showing signs of a rebound. 2018 Market Outlook By John Powers

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