Maersk offers slight relief on tight trans-Pac capacity amid peak season
MAERSK Line has offered some relief to beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) who have being shut out of vessels departing Asia during this unusually busy peak season
MAERSK Line has offered some relief to beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) who have being shut out of vessels departing Asia during this unusually busy peak season.
The Danish shipping giant added a single voyage, extra-loader ship to the East Coast and one to the West Coast and introduced slots eastbound slots on NYSHEX, while APL's new, expedited service made its maiden call at Los Angeles.
However, Maersk is the only carrier to announce extra sailings this month, and with vessels in Asia being booked to 110 per cent of capacity, carriers will most likely continue to 'roll' some shipments, at least for the next few weeks, both shippers and carriers say. Even the recent launch of APL's new weekly expedited service from China to Los Angeles is not expected to make a significant impact on the capacity crunch in the eastbound Pacific, reports IHS Media.
Head of trans-Pacific trade for Maersk Line North America, Matt Hill, was quoted as saying in a release from the New York Shipping Exchange (NYSHEX): 'We typically see a historical market increase in August and September as shippers ramp up for their holiday buying season.
'Combine that with the reduction in capacity shippers are experiencing from many carriers in the trade, uncertainty around the impact on imports out of China because of the tariff issues, and overall higher than expected year-to-date volumes, and you have the makings for a strong peak season,' Mr Hill stated.
If other carriers also offer one-off extra loaders in the coming month, the tight situation in the largest US trade lane could be relieved somewhat.
'More extra loaders are expected to be announced in the coming weeks by various carriers, encouraged by both the higher freight rates as well as to ensure service recovery after recent weather delays at Chinese ports have also disrupted carriers' schedules,' Alphaliner stated.
In addition to announcing the extra-loaders, Maersk has begun posting offers for trans-Pacific eastbound sailings on NYSHEX. Maersk joined several other carriers posting eastbound offers that guarantee BCOs space and equipment on specific voyages.
On August 14, Maersk's Matar N, with a capacity of 3,421 TEU, began a rotation covering Yantian, Hong Kong, Busan, Houston, Miami, Charleston, Savannah and New York-New Jersey, according to Alphaliner. The 5,078 TEU Dolphin II left Yantian Wednesday for Hong Kong, Ningbo, Shanghai, Los Angeles, Seattle and Vancouver. These extra loaders are for one voyage only.
Hundreds of containers each week are being rolled in Asia in what is turning out to be an earlier than usual peak season, due in part to importer uncertainty over the impact of Trump administration tariffs and counter tariffs by China. However, the fast-forwarding of imports leads some to believe that the peak season could come to an early end in late September or during the Golden Week celebrations in Asia beginning October 1.