Since the the recession in 2008, it has been a tough time for ocean container carriers as demand continues to slow down.
Carriers have been left with alternating years of bad to worse, with doubts whether it will get better across the industry. According to the Wall Street Journal, 2017 rates for carriers on both routes to the U.S. west coast and European ports have been well below the carriers' breakeven points.
Meanwhile, shipping lines have yet to improve themselves as on-going orders for larger megaships will expand total sector capacity even though demand threatens to flatten.
Supply Chain Digest reports that numerous factors are also plaguing container carriers as new global rules for low sulfur emissions could cost the industry as much as $10 billion annually when it goes into effect at the beginning of next year.