US ports to welcome 2M's former goliaths on the Asia-Europe trades
THE Swiss Italian Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) is preparing to pull the world's largest containership, the 23,756-TEU MSC Mia, as well as the 23,656 TEU MSC Nela from serving the Asia-Europe trades and redeploy both vessels on the transpacific services that it operates with 2M partner Maersk Line
15 March 2020 - 19:00
The move is part of drastic measures put in place around the world to reposition containers in the wake of the coronavirus that has stifled supply chains, reported Singapore's Splash 247.
Alphaliner said in its latest weekly report: 'Compared to the 13,000+ TEU ships normally trading on the 2M's transpacific services, the ad hoc deployment of megamaxes will allow the shipping line(s) to carry a typical service load and at least an additional 6,000 TEU worth of empty containers to America.'
The sailings of the MSC Mia and MSC Nela will raise the number of megamaxes temporarily deployed on transpacific loops to four, as the 19,224 TEU MSC Oscar already calls at Los Angeles, while the 19,368 TEU MSC Anna will be redeployed later this month.
The drastic shortage of empty boxes thanks to the coronavirus is also being keenly felt in Europe.
'This container imbalance is however expected to be short-lived as Chinese exports are picking up again,' Alphaliner predicted, adding: 'Volumes might even peak in April, as European and US importers will sooner or later have to replenish their stocks of products made in China.'
Lars Jensen, writing on LinkedIn, has also shared his thoughts on container repositioning in light of the escalating number of cases of coronavirus seen in the west. The Sea-Intelligence container-shipping analyst warned that the increase of the number of people in quarantine in Europe leaves companies short-staffed slowing down all work processes.
He warns that even if a container is delivered to port, there is no guarantee it will be picked up, emptied and redelivered in a timely fashion.
'The net effect in Europe over the coming weeks will be a slow-down in the turn-around speed of containers,' Mr Jensen wrote. 'This in turn will mean a slow-down in the repositioning of containers to Asia - and hence further increases the likelihood that we will see container shortages in Asia when volumes pick up.'
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