The Brexit and its implications for container shipping

By Curious

The United Kingdom’s decision to exit the European Union is expected to have little direct impact on the containership sector. The ’Brexit’ referendum on 23 June had ended with 51.89% of the vote in favour of leaving. At only 1.4% of global container volumes however, the country’s market share in terms of port throughput had been in steady decline for over a decade, down from 3.0% in 2000 to a low of only 1.2% in 2013.

The Brexit and its implications for container shipping

A small recovery saw the UK regain some of the lost share and the nation’s ports reached an estimated throughput of 9.7 M teu in 2015. The UK’s share of European container throughput has also declined over the same period. It dropped from 13.9% in 2000 to 8.9% to 2015.

The county’s decline as a maritime centre for the container shipping sector had started long before the ’Brexit’ decision. UK-flagged containerships today account for only 3.7% of global vessel capacity, while UK-controlled containerships account for as little as 2.2% of the global fleet in teu terms.

Capacity operated by UK carriers is even smaller at 0.2% and the last of the nation’s large operators, P&O Container Lines, was merged with Nedlloyd in 1996. The merged entity finally came under Danish control in 2005, when sold to A.P. Moller-Maersk. In the short term, UK imports are expected to be negatively affected by the strong depreciation of the British Pound against other major currencies that was caused by the ’Brexit’-vote. This will mainly affect imports from Asia, and it will put additional pressure on the fragile recovery of the Asia – Europe trade.

Source: Alphaliner