Demand for waterborne freight shipping will revive, spurring industry growth.
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) September 30, 2013
In the five years to 2013, revenue for the Ocean and Coastal Transportation industry is expected to decline. The global shipping market struggled during the recession as consumers began to spend less, reducing the trade of goods around the world. Cruise companies also felt the economic pinch, and many were forced to reduce prices to maintain capacity. Furthermore, fluctuations in the price of fuel have forced firms to pass fuel surcharges onto clients, thereby contributing to revenue volatility. For example, in 2009, declining demand and decreasing fuel prices (hindering fuel surcharge revenue) contributed to a reduction in industry revenue. However, as the economy has slowly rebounded, shipping demand has increased and more consumers are opting to take cruises. Consequently, IBISWorld estimates that industry revenue will increase in 2013.
Despite the fact that this industry participates in global trade, certain industry segments are protected by legislation that prevents the participation of foreign operators and limits competition to US-based operators, insulating it from global price competition and buoying industry demand. Nevertheless, an overall decline in demand for freight transportation during the recession caused nearly all operators to struggle. Flat or declining cargo volumes have paired uncomfortably with the expanding fleets of many carriers, creating more intense price competition. Additionally, fewer consumers took cruises as their disposable income fell. This impacted both the top and bottom lines of industry operators, with many companies experiencing losses in 2009. Poor operating conditions forced some players out of the industry altogether with total number of enterprises declining in 2008. However, due to the economic recovery since 2010 and the subsequent rise in cargo volumes, revenue is expected to improve as demand increases once again.
According to IBISWorld Industry Analyst Geoffrey Kaicher, the Ocean and Coastal Transportation industry “has a moderate level of concentration, with the four largest players estimated to account for more than 50.0% of industry revenue in 2013.” In the past five years, industry concentration has increased and, during this time, companies have grabbed more market share while some players have been forced out of the industry or were acquired by other competitors. “As a result, in the five years to 2013, the number of industry enterprises has declined annually,” says Kaicher. The industry's major players, which include Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Neptune Orient Lines, Norwegian Cruise Lines and Crowley Maritime Corporation, will likely continue to acquire smaller companies in an attempt to gain market share in this increasingly competitive industry (see IBISWorld report 48311 for major player market shares).
In the five years to 2018, waterborne freight shipping in the United States will pick up as the global economy continues to recover from the recent economic downturn. IBISWorld forecasts that industry revenue will grow as the world's economy continues to strengthen. Revenue growth will also be spurred on by rising demand for cruise vacations and increasing trade volumes. However, the cruise component of the industry will face competition from other modes of transportation and tourism industries.
For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Ocean & Coastal Transportation in the US industry report page.
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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics
The Ocean & Coastal Transportation industry provides deep-sea, coastal, Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway water transportation. The deep-sea shipping activity includes US-flagged vessels and non-US-flagged vessels. Marine transportation establishments that use the St. Lawrence river are considered a part of the Great Lakes Water Transportation System and are therefore included in this report. This industry also includes deep-sea passenger transportation such as cruise ships.
Key External Drivers
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Products & Services
Globalization & Trade
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
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