THREE CARRIER GROUPS SLASH CAPACITY AS ASIA/NORTH AMERICA VOLUMES SLIP
Maersk Sealand, the Grand Alliance and the New World Alliance, three of the largest carrier groups in the transpacific trade, will reduce capacity and take ships out of the transpacific trade in the next few weeks.
The large-scale capacity rationalization, timed to coincide with the end of the peak season, is seen as a radical effort to bring supply more in line with demand, after months of market deterioration and decreases in freight rates.
Maersk Sealand will discontinue the transpacific leg of its TP5/SZX service later this month, taking some 4,200 TEUs a week out of the sluggish Asia/North America trade. The last sailing between Asia and the West Coast of North America will be on Nov. 18.
The Grand Alliance is suspending its South China Express loop at the beginning of December, removing another 5,000 TEUs from the trade as the off-peak season starts (see related news report).
The New World Alliance of APL, Hyundai Merchant Marine and MOL confirmed on Wednesday that it will stop its Pacific Northwest Express service and take five ships of about 2,600-TEU capacity out of the trade.
The withdrawal of three Asia/West Coast of North America weekly services represents a combined reduction of about 12,000 TEUs a week, or 6 percent of the capacity provided by all the shipping lines in the trade, according to World Liner Supply, a reporting service of the global liner shipping database ComPairData.
China Shipping and CMA CGM also recently reduced their transpacific services’ capacity, by stopping their joint AAC service.
The COSCO/”K” Line/Yang Ming alliance is the only large alliance in the transpacific trade that has not yet announced a cut in its capacity.
It is not clear whether Maersk Sealand and the New World Alliance will follow the Grand Alliance’s decision to lay up their surplus ships.