SUPPLY-chain leaders are hopeful of a container-market rebound, according to the latest Market Forecaster report from online logistics platform Container xChange.

A majority of the 2570 professionals surveyed in July shared a positive outlook; Container xChange said their sentiment signals a “shipper’s market” this peak season.

It said container prices remained stable in July, indicating a market improvement that offers favourable conditions for shippers entering the season.

Most respondents (42%) said they could foresee an increase in container prices in the near-term, which Container xChange said is indicative of potential market improvement.

It said 28% anticipated a further decline in container prices, suggesting a certain degree of pessimism in market conditions, and 30% of those surveyed maintained that prices would remain unchanged.

The company said the growth in sentiment underscores the industry’s anticipation of an imminent turnaround, contributing a “sense of positivity” to the landscape.

Container xChange co-founder and CEO Christian Roeloffs said some economists are shifting from predicting recession to a soft landing, but the industry is holding its momentum.

“While some experts remain cautious, the foundation of a resilient economy, sustained consumer activity, and strategic federal investments improves the outlook of the upcoming holiday season,” he said.

“It’s a shipper’s market this peak season as rates stabilise at below pre-Covid levels and capacity is abundant. Prices are low and this offers a great opportunity for exporters this peak season.”

Mr Roeloffs said a technical recession was avoided in the EU, but a high inflation rate and high prices would continue to exert pressure on operating costs for shipping companies.

He said carriers and freight forwarders should anticipate rising expenses related to provisioning ships and providing for crewmembers.

“Shippers might also experience increased costs for transporting goods, affecting overall supply chain costs,” he said.

“Short-term shipping demand may experience a boost, especially for routes connected to countries with stronger growth rates like Ireland and Spain.

“However, the potential for growth to be less robust than expected warrants cautious optimism.

“Prepare for potential shifts in shipping demand as companies explore more cost-efficient transport options during uncertain economic periods.”

Container xChange said the shipping industry’s course for the next few months is “intricately woven” with economic shifts, trade dynamics and supply chain adaptations.