A New Network of the Top Three Container Lines

The world economy is complex, and no-one can accurately predict when shipping cycles of boom and slump will happen. However, analysis of cycles of freight rates and the ordering of new ships over the last 150 years has shown some seventeen cycles and two serious Depressions. These patterns of trading are very definitely cyclic, the difficulty is in knowing the length of the cycle. The ‘Rule of Thumb’ in the shipping industry is seven years from peak to peak, but some cycles have lasted only five years and others almost ten years. One has to also factor in many exceptional circumstances such as countless wars, closures of the Suez Canal, seafarer and docker strikes etc that extend the length of each cycle.

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