Maersk Line still the largest container line in 2016, but is not immune to overcapacity and weak demand, reports Alphaliner
The Danish carrier had a total operated capacity of 3.01 million TEU across 584 ships at the beginning of the year, compared with nearest rival MSC's 484 ships for 2.67 million TEU.
Maersk grew its fleet by 4.1 per cent in 2014, while MSC's fleet grew by 5.2 per cent, although it has a larger orderbook of 43 ships for 572,720 TEU versus Maersk's 31 ships for 405,910 TEU.
One surprising aspect of the companies' 2M alliance, notes Paris-based Alphaliner, is that Maersk was able to significantly reduce capacity on the Asia-Europe’s route over the course of 2015.
This was partly due to its vessel sharing agreement with MSC and the withdrawal of the Asia-North Europe AE9 and Asia-Black Sea AE3 services, as the two joint services mainly deployed Maersk Line tonnage.
The consequence for Maersk was that it was able to cut its high exposure on the troubled trade by decreasing its capacity on the route by 26 per cent to 670,000 TEU.
But Maersk increased the capacity it deployed between Asia and North America by 24 per cent and by a massive 223 per cent between Europe and North America as a result of the 2M co-operation.
Despite deploying less tonnage on Asia-Europe, the 2M alliance has not insulated Maersk completely from the pain of overcapacity.
According to Alphaliner data, the carrier currently has one of its Triple-E vessels, the 18,340 TEU Maersk Munkebo anchored off China as a result of its blank sailings to mitigate weak demand.
Source : HKSG.