During the first quarter of 2019, the North American East Coast showed the strongest year-on-year growth of all major port regions in the world. With 7.1 %, it placed the Baltic Sea second (6.1 %) and South Europe third (5.0 %). China’s ports’ traffic increase compared with the first quarter of 2018 was just 3.0 % and hence behind North Europe (3.3 %). The North American West Coast ports – which handle most of the China traffic – saw a sharp drop of their year-on-year growth from 7.8 % in the fourth quarter of 2018 to just 2.5 % in Q1 2019.
These figures indicate that the China-U.S. trade is suffering from the current trade conflict between the two countries. It seems to be the main reason for the slowdown of container traffic growth that has been observed at the world scale.