For the first time since 2010, container lines posted its first profitable year in 2017 and one could argue that this achievement will be repeated in 2018 – much to the relief of the sector who can look experience consistency once again.
Although overall demand growth is expected to be lower than 2017, it will still be enough to improve market balance in the sector. This unremarkable outlook for the 2018 would ordinarily be a concern but for an industry that has navigated through turbulent times for nearly a decade consisting of record lows of growth and demand, the latest figures are now considered to be a welcome relief and represent the start new and improved era.
The industry is now embracing the expanding Panama Canal locks and 2018 is likely to be the year where many container line networks calling the U.S. East Coast and changing the dynamics of American supply chain.
Now open to 80% of the world’s tonnage, the Panama Canal continues to change the dynamic of the American and worldwide supply chains. It will be a fascinating experience to come back to Panama after an absence of 3 years. The last time TOC Americas was held in Panama, the expanded canal was just about to open and since then, we have seen the new locks open and record number of transits pass through.
TOC Americas returns this key international shipping lane to drill down into the macro and micro issues facing supply chain stakeholders. Sessions will look at the prospects for maritime trade, the modernisation supply chains the ongoing impact of digitalization, the impact of the new shipping alliances and opportunities for logistics service providers both on land and at sea.