Asia to Europe volumes jump in May

Asia-Europe shipping lines’ successful start to the year continued in May, with a double-digit percentage increase in volumes in the headhaul direction compared with a year earlier.

Asia-Europe shipping

The latest figures from Container Trades Statistics showed that volumes increased by 13.2 per cent year on year in May to reach 1.4m teu. Volume growth for the first five months of the year on the trade lane is now eight per cent up on last year, reaching 6.2m teu. 

May is the second largest percentage increase reported so far this year on the trade lane, falling just below the 14.6 per cent increase recorded in March because of a post-Chinese new year-related spike. 

Broken down into the subsectors that make up the Asia-Europe trade lane, the Asia to North Europe trade lane saw volumes increase by 14.5 per cent compared with a year ago to 884,559 teu. Asia to the western Mediterranean and North Africa enjoyed a 16 per cent year-on-year increase to 247,055 teu. 

From Asia to the eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea, May’s volumes jumped 5.6 per cent to reach 235,413 teu. Volumes in the backhaul trade also continue to increase, although by a much smaller margin. The overall Europe to Asia trade lane saw volumes increase two per cent year on year in May to 580,100 teu. 

For the first five months of the year, backhaul volumes are 1.5 per cent ahead of the same period last year at 2.9m teu. In terms of global volumes, container liftings increased 5.7 per cent compared with last year in May, reaching 11.5m teu. For the first five months, volumes have increased 4.3 per cent compared with the same period in 2013 to 5.3m teu.