Consolidate wave in container shipping is close to its end, says Fitch report

According to a recent report by Fitch Ratings, global container shipping is focusing more on vertical integration, moving into logistics and away from consolidation amid slowing growth in container trade as well as digital disruption.

“We believe that the consolidation wave in container shipping is approaching its end. The top six container lines account for over 70% of global market capacity. While we do not discount the possibility of further consolidation through the defaults of smaller, financially weaker companies or their acquisition by stronger rivals, we believe any large-scale acquisitions are unlikely. This is because only limited additional cost efficiencies are achievable through further increases in scale. Moreover, obtaining regulatory approvals may become challenging due to competition issues, while funding large acquisitions requires an ability to demonstrate a clear deleveraging path, which could be difficult in the prevailing market conditions,” the report said.

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