The Year of the Rabbit: What can we expect?

30. March 2023 | Blog

2023 – a year that has started with weak demand for imports from the Far East and with lower exports from Austria. As a container operator, we are naturally interested in what is happening overseas and what effects this will have for us in Europe. A first outlook on the current situation in the logistics industry.

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In China, the year 2023 is symbolized by the Rabbit. It is supposed to bring security, prosperity and peace – characteristics that are particularly useful for transport logistics companies to and from China.

Increasing demands in container logistics? © Roland Spedition / Raimo Rumpler

Restrained development in sea freight

This is because development here, especially in sea freight, is still very restrained. Freight forwarders report weak demand for imports from the Far East with the main market China, accompanied by volume declines in exports from Austria.

Especially in the case of price-sensitive products such as paper, wood, and flooring, exports from Austria to Canada and the USA have recently fallen significantly. The easing of the situation in seaports is seen as positive – especially in Hamburg, Bremerhaven and Rotterdam.

Rising trend in air freight

Air freight, on the other hand, is seeing a trend towards increasing cargo volumes to China and hopes that the development will continue positively. However, the airlines are only really optimistic for the second half of the year.

Impact on maritime container logistics

After the Chinese New Year, all freight forwarders in air and ocean freight traffic are hoping for an increase in demand. However, there are fears that some manufacturing industries will relocate their production to countries that are closer to the sales markets (for example, South-East Europe or North Africa). This would have an especially massive impact on maritime container logistics.

Decision in the 2nd half of the year

So what the Year of the Rabbit brings cannot be known until the second half of the year. However, shippers with China as their main market are hoping for a recovery as early as the second quarter.


© Österreichische Verkehrszeitung / Joachim Horvath & Miriam Hirschhofer


Roland Spedition GmbH
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