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Blank sailings hits a peak in Asia, Europe, America, Mediterranean trades

THE impact of blanking sailings has now reached a peak, and resuming the Europe-Asia backhaul trade later this year may prove challenging, Sea-Intelligence's issue 460 of Sunday Spotlight writes

03 May 2020 - 19:00

THE impact of blanking sailings has now reached a peak, and resuming the Europe-Asia backhaul trade later this year may prove challenging, Sea-Intelligence's issue 460 of Sunday Spotlight writes.

Sea-Intelligence's Blank Sailings Tracker allows for a detailed analysis of the coronavirus impact, down to individual vessel level, and this enables a clear view of the weekly developments in terms of void sailings.



Asia-North Europe last week reached 38 per cent cancelled capacity, and in the coming weeks the other deep-sea trades will also reach peak impact with, for example Mediterranean to North America east coast having 33 per cent blank capacity in week 19, and Asia to east coast of South America seeing a 59 per cent capacity removal in week 20.



However, the impact is not confined to these peaks. For Asia-North Europe the market will experience one-fifth capacity withdrawal for seven consecutive weeks, hereof three weeks in excess of 35 per cent. For both Asia-Mediterranean and Asia to east coast of South America the shippers will have to navigate four weeks where the cancelled capacity exceeds 30 per cent.



Looking at the coming six to eight weeks, the Europe-Asia backhaul shippers could also be facing problems. The Spotlight analyses the impact of the cancelled sailings on the carriers' ability to move both export cargo to Asia as well as handle the empty container flows. The problem is that the large amount of blank sailings makes it difficult to also manage the empty flows.



'In the coming 6-8 weeks we could very well see a period where the export cargo and empty flow combined exceeds the total capacity available in the market. Historically this has led the carriers to favour empty container evacuation and curb booking intake with rising freight rates as a result,' said Sea-Intelligence CEO Alan Murphy.


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