THREE out of the four mega container shipping alliances are scaling back capacity on the Far East trades, apart from 2M, which is even looking to increase the capacity of their AE9/Condor services by operating larger ships than ever before.
The Ocean Three alliance cancelled weekly departures between the Far East and northern Europe between July and September, and are limiting their capacity during the Chinese export peak season with 12,000 slots per week, reported Atlas Logistics Network, Antwerp.
China Shipping, CMA CGM and UASC pioneered the rationalisation hoping the other mega alliances would follow suit, with the G6 confirming they would reduce slots by cancelling four departures during August.
The CYKHE Alliance has not yet officially reacted but has cancelled various departures over the last couple of months. During August they have scheduled two "blank sailings" in their CES/NE8 service.
Furthermore, the NE2 departure scheduled for August 7 ex Hong Kong and the NE7 departure scheduled for August 27 ex Ningbo have no nominated vessels for the time being. This could result in a further reduction of 8,500 weekly slots for this alliance.
Although, the 2M vessel sharing agreement between Maersk Line and MSC announced a rationalisation of their schedules in June, whereby vessels of 9,600 TEU would be replaced by smaller ships of 6,500 TEU, no signs have emerged of this capacity cut.
Even larger box ships are to be deployed on their AE9/Condor service given that the 11,600-TEU MSC Luciana, 13,050-TEU MSC Aurora and the 13,102-TEU MSC Vega will be added to the fleet.
Also, other loops from the 2M alliance have seen capacity boosts. The AE2/Swan service will absorb both the 19,224-TEU MSC Zoe and the 18,340-TEU Mathilde Maersk on their maiden voyages. Plus the fourth 19,224-TEU newbuilding, the MSC Maya, will call Antwerp on its maiden trip, starting in Busan on August 27.
Source : HKSG.