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Automatic Identification System data reveals increasing cargo demand in 2018

Courtesy: Mundo Maritimo
January 24, 2019
AXS Marine analyzes dry bulk shipping market

“In 2018, the dry bulk fleet comprised of 11,137 vessels performed a total of 92,733 voyages and transported 6.1 billion tons of cargo. The average ship carried therefore 65,786 metric tons per voyage and performed an average of 8.3 trips per year at an average ballast speed of 11.60 knots and even lower average laden speed of 11.05 knots,” reads the latest Alphabulk analysis –in exclusive alliance with MundoMaritimo- revealing the data provided by the Automatic Identification System (AIS).

Comparing the numbers

Comparing the 2018 numbers with previous years, Alphabulk says that “some 11,137 unique vessels were tallied over 2018. That is an increase of 0.64% over 2017 and 3.13% over 2015, equivalent to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the period of 0.77%.”

The number of voyages performed by the fleet also increased in 2018 compared to 2017. In percentage terms this increase is 3.03%. Compared to 2015, the increase is 13.6% which gives a CAGR of 3.24% over the period.

Volumes & speed

While most were forecasting an increase of 2% year-on-year in cargo volumes, Alphabulk’s AIS data show a much higher increase of 2.95% year-on-year. The total number of tons carried in 2018 is up 13.9% compared to 2015, or a CAGR of 3.3%, which is considerably more than the CAGR of the fleet over the same period.

Ballast and laden speeds have declined about half a percent between 2017 and 2018. The speed decrease is, however, more substantial compared to 2015, with a 1% drop for laden speeds and a 0.7% drop for ballast speeds.

In summary, the relative productivity of the dry bulk fleet in 2018 versus 2017 shows that a bigger fleet has performed more voyages, carrying a higher aggregate volume of cargoes, with a higher number of ships, sailing at a slower speed.

In 2018, the modern Capesize segment (160-220,000 dwt) carried the most tons, followed by the Supra/Ultramax segment, while the Panamax segment came in third. Historically these three segments have been on the podium since 2015 with the only change being that the Supra/Ultramax segment overtook the Panamax segment for second position in 2016. All segments have contributed to the overall increase in dry bulk seaborne trade, except for the Capesize segment which is down 0.4% in tons carried in 2018 compared to 2017.

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Upcoming articles in this blog will include information about AIS (Automatic Identification System), VDES (VHF Data Exchange System), AIS Transponders / Transceivers, AIS Class A, AIS Class B, AIS Base Stations, AIS AtoN (Aids to Navigation), AIS SART (Search and Rescue Transmitter), Vessel Traffic Service (VTS), Vessel Traffic Management Information System (VTMIS), AIS Satellite, Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), Digital Selective Calling (DSC), Marine VHF Radio, Homeland Security, Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), cargo payload, draught, capacity utilisation, maritime big data, bulk shipping, line-up reports, trade flow, commodity, satellite, naval architecture, fishing, sar, security, synthetic aperture radar, visible infrared imaging radiometer suite (viirs), vessel tracking, ship tracking, communication and other related issues.

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