Global Economic
Trend Analysis

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Tuesday, December 08, 2015 3:37 PM

When Shipping Overcapacity Meets Falling Demand

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The following charts show what happens when an increasing number of ships meets falling demand.

Harper Petersen Shipping Rates by Vessel Size - Ten Years

Source: Harper Petersen

More charts below, but first let's explain TEU.


TEU stands for twenty-foot-equivalent unit. It's an imprecise term because lengths have a 20-foot long (6.1 meters) standard but heights vary.  Heights range from 2 feet three inches to 9 foot six inches. The most common heights are 8 feet 6 inches (2.6 m) and 9 feet 6 inches (2.9 m).

Let's hone in on shipping rates for the last two years.

Harper Petersen Shipping Rates by Vessel Size - Two Years

Harper Petersen Index - Ten Years

Harper Petersen Index - One Year

Something clearly happened in first quarter of this year in terms of shipping demand.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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