CAPACITY on the major Asia-North Europe trade route is forecast to rise six per cent next year as sixty-nine 10,000-plus TEUers are delivered, unless carriers cancel services or increase blank sailings, according to SeaIntel Maritime Analysis.
Container shipping capacity on the tradelane in 2015 could increase by as much as 9.5 per cent compared to this year, if less capacity than seen over the last year is blanked, reported Lloyd's List.
The largest of the 69 mega vessels slated for delivery between now and the end of 2015 will be supplied to China Shipping Container Lines, which has five 19,000-TEU ships on order.
SeaIntel said in its capacity outlook for 2015 that it expects most of these 10,000+ TEU vessels to be put into operation on the Asia-north Europe trade, replacing smaller vessels that will be transferred elsewhere.
As a result, the analysts anticipate the average weekly capacity to increase 9.5 per cent year on year from 246,000 TEU to 270,000 TEU, if carriers continue to blank capacity in the same manner.
"This hidden capacity growth equals that of 1.2 extra average sized Asia-North Europe services launched from the start of 2015," said SeaIntel chief operating officer Alan Murphy.
SeaIntel added that if demand in this trade increases by one per cent in 2015, 0.9 average-sized service would have to be pulled in order to keep the current supply-demand balance, yet if demand increases by four per cent only 0.4 average sized-service would have to be cancelled.
The increase in capacity, however, will not remain flat throughout the year, as newbuildings will be gradually rolled out throughout the 12-month period, said SeaIntel.
Therefore, it expects capacity in the final quarter of 2015 to grow 7.2 per cent, compared to the fourth quarter of the current year, unless carriers take action to reduce capacity.
If carriers fail to reduce capacity then SeaIntel expects weekly capacity to grow 15.4 per cent year on year in the final quarter of 2015.
"If carriers want to keep the current supply-demand balance, we should expect to see the carriers cancel an average-sized service in Q3 or Q4 in 2015, besides the cancelling of one of the 2M carriers' current services," said Mr Murphy.