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Port Report: China’s Golden Week means cuts in ocean service

The two largest container shipping alliances outlined service cuts for the first week of October due to the closure of China’s factories during the nation’s Golden Week celebration.

So far, the alliances have cut nine weekly sailings from Asia to the North America West Coast, four to the East Coast and two to the Gulf Coast. The voided sailings were scheduled to reach North America between October 20 and November 17.

Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), a member of the OCEAN Alliance along with COSCO Shipping (HKEK: 1919) and CMA CGM, said it is withdrawing six trans-Pacific sailings over the period from September 30 through October 12. Three of the affected sailings call on the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports and the rest call on Pacific Northwest ports. 

The service cuts include its Pearl River Express/Pacific China South 1 service, which calls on the ports of Los Angeles and Oakland.

The service typically uses ships with 14,000-twenty foot equivalent units (TEUs) in capacity. But OOCL said it was dropping a sailing of the 17,700-TEU CMA CGM Bougainville that was scheduled to depart Fuqing, China on October 6 and arrive in Los Angeles on October 26.

It will also drop an October 28 sailing of a 5,600-TEU ship from Taipei scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles November 17. 

OOCL will also drop an October 12 sailing of an 8,000-TEU vessel from Ningbo scheduled to arrive in Long Beach on October 28. The vessel is part of OOCL’s Pacific China Central 1 service.

In the Pacific Northwest, OOCL said the sailing of the 11,400-TEU CMA CGM Aquila departing Yantian on September 30 and arriving in Seattle on October 20 was cancelled. The sailing of the CSCL Bohai from Hong Kong on October 8 arriving at the port of Prince Rupert on October 26 was cancelled. A sailing of a 5,900-TEU vessel from Shekou and arriving in Vancouver on November 4 was dropped.

The port of New York and New Jersey will see two OCEAN Alliance sailings cancelled. The 14,400-TEU CMA CGM J. Adams will drop a sailing from Qingdao on October 6 and the 13,200-TEU OOCL Chongqing will drop a sailing from Cai Mep, Vietnam on October 7. Two arrivals in Houston will also be dropped.

2M Alliance members Maersk (Nasdaq OMX: MAER.B) and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) will also drop three sailings to the West Coast and two to the East Coast. A sailing on MSC’s Pearl service from Nansha to arrive in Los Angeles on October 22 was cancelled. No specific ship was named, but the service runs vessels in the 13,000-TEU range. Another sailing on the TP3/Yulan service from Shanghai on October 15 arriving in Los Angeles on October 29 was also cancelled. 2M also cancelled a sailing on its TP8/Orient service from Tianjin arriving in Long Beach on November 4.

2M will also scratch two East Coast calls. The October 3 sailing from Tianjin arriving in Charleston on November 7 was cancelled. The sailing is in the TP10/Amberjack service string which includes ships in the 8,000 to 10,000-TEU range. The TP88/Pelican service departing Xiamen on October 11 and arriving in Houston on November 9 was also scratched.