Market Perspectives – May 2, 2019

Ocean Freight Comments

Transportation and Export Report: Jay O’Neil, O’Neil Commodity Consulting: It was another mixed week in dry-bulk vessel markets. Vessel owner optimism remains high, but it continues to be a difficult job to move rates up and keep them there.

This week ended quietly with the Russians and some others on holiday and no one pushing bids upward. IMO2020 low-sulfur fuel requirements are still the elephant in the room. Higher fuel costs are coming onboard and as such operating cost are starting to increase. We are already seeing additional “slow steaming” to economize on fuel. Container shipping executives are talking about the need to raise rates $300-$400/TEU to compensate for the added fuel costs. The clock is ticking, and freight buyers need to be prepared for what is to come. I foresee trouble ahead for all concerned.