Some 8.8% of capacity is due to be pulled from the Asia to Europe market by ocean carriers over the next 12 weeks.
CMA CGM has announced it will blank five sailings in the period surrounding China’s Golden Week, removing close to 100,000 teu from the Asia to Europe trades.
The carrier’s French Asia Line (FAL) services 1, 2, 5, 7 and 8 have been pulled for the seven-day national holiday running from 1-7 October.
According to documents seen by The Loadstar, the 2M Alliance of Maersk and MSC will pull 10% of its capacity on the trade between now and the Chinese holiday, blanking seven sailings, while THE Alliance pulls 18%, blanking 10.
Commentators have suggested that the failure of a peak season to materialise in the build-up to Golden Week has likely driven the lines to reduce capacity as they look for ways to maintain rates that have recently “collapsed”, particularly on Asia-Europe routes.
The Loadstar’s shipping correspondent and former broker, Mike Wackett, commented: “There has been no peak season this year and the demand outlook is very poor going into the fourth quarter. I think the carriers will adopt the same radical approach as they did at the start of the pandemic, and take out a huge amount of capacity to protect and, as it proved then, boost their rates.”
Meanwhile, others have pointed to the growing list of problems and changes in the operating environment influencing carrier decisions to blank sailings, such as strikes, bottlenecks and equipment shortages.
Source: The Loadstar