Outlook grim despite recent rise, says UASC

Liftings on container trades to and from the Middle East have improved since February but the supply and demand outlook remains bleak, according to Jorn Hinge, new president and CEO of United Arab Shipping Company (UASC). He told IFW all carriers were suffering from the downturn in demand from Europe, which saw volumes slump in the final quarter of 2008 and the first months of 2009. “There was an improvement in March, but we’re still a long way from 2008 levels and rates remain low,” he said. “All carriers are feeling the pinch, and we still have major concerns over supply and demand.”