Carriers Announce More Blank Sailings on Asia-USWC
According to Freightos, more than a third of the scheduled sailings out of Asia up to early June have been cancelled by several Ocean Carrier Alliances.
Data provider project44 shows that Maersk and MSC of 2M Alliance are leading the charge to blank sailings. Between weeks 17 to 23, THE Alliance will blank 33% of its scheduled sailings from Asia, the Ocean Alliance will void 37%, while the 2M Alliance will cancel 39% of its headhaul voyages.
According to Xeneta, the highest amount of blank sailings was seen on the Asia – US west coast tradelane over the past five weeks both in absolute volume and as a share of offered capacity.
Between April 4 and May 8, 63 sailings on this route were blanked, removing a total of 517,300 teu, 25% of the initial capacity offering.
Freightos’s head of research Judah Levine said the cut capacity could stabilise container rates out of Asia to Europe and the US west coast, which have fallen by more than 20% since the initial shutdown in Shanghai in March.
“Carriers have been trying to manage this drop in spot rates by implementing blank sailings while trying to lock shippers on longer-term contracts riding on the previous highs in hopes of extending their honeymoon period,” said Shabsie Levy, CEO of digital freight forwarding platform Shifl.
“Despite the slowdown, projections for ocean import volumes to the US through the summer months remain higher than last year, indicating a pull forward of demand to avoid peak season delays and possible labour disruptions at West Coast ports when an important dockworker labour contract expires at the end of June,” an update from Freightos stated.
Meanwhile in Shanghai, which has been under lockdown for more than six weeks, there has been some good news from the official data that there has been a drop in new cases among people. Shanghai’s mass testing detected just two new cases outside areas facing the strictest curbs on May 11, officials said on Thursday. The cases were found in two of the city’s 16 districts, Xuhui and Fengxian this week were among eight that had achieved zero-covid status, having had no community cases for three consecutive days.