Skip to content

China-US Trade Bellwether Sees Demand Slump Ending in Second Half

The rebalancing of US retail inventories is taking longer than some companies expected, prolonging a slump in global shipping that’s weighing on ocean freight rates during a period of weakened consumer demand.

Those are among the takeaways from an earnings conference call late Tuesday with executives from Matson, the Honolulu-based container line. While it’s ranked as just the 28th-biggest carrier by total capacity, the company is a bellwether for trade between China and the US because it operates an expedited service between the world’s largest economies.