( – FocusAsia Media Ltd

LONDON, Jul 27 (FAM) – The rapidly consolidating liner sector is becoming increasingly oligopolistic, setting the scene for a return to industry profitability this year on the back of an “unprecedented” 16% estimated increase in average global freight rates, according to container shipping and logistics analyst Drewry.

Speaking in a webinar yesterday, Philip Damas, director of Drewry’s Supply Chain Advisors, said the bankruptcy of Hanjin last year and frantic liner merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the last few years constituted a fundamental structural shift in the carrier base and the competitive forces in container shipping.