Container shipping faces 'massive' overcapacity in Q4: SeaIntel

Analysts SeaIntel are forecasting “massive” overcapacity on the container trades in the fourth quarter.

According to SeaIntel as the industry moves into the fourth quarter it has failed to make capacity cuts seen in previous years as the peak season comes to an end.

“We are now heading into the fourth quarter, where we would expect to see the traditional culling of deployed capacity relative to the peak season third quarter, but the current capacity outlook does not show a Q4 drop in deployed capacity in line with past years,” SeaIntel said.

Over the past five years container lines have blanked an average of 25 sailings on Asia – Europe in Q4 and 67 sailings on the transpacific of the quarter.

On the Asia – North Europe trade in the 2012 to 2016 period capacity contracted by an average an average of 6.6% in the fourth quarter, but this year just 0.8% of capacity is scheduled to be taken out in Q4 – this equates to roughly one sailing per week.

On the Asia – US West Coast trade capacity has contracted an average of 4.5% in Q4 2012 – 2016, meaning that close to two sailings a week need to be blanked in the fourth quarter of this year.

On the Asia – US East Coast far from capacity being cut in Q4 2017 it is forecast to grow 4.1% over Q3, and what SeaIntel described as a “staggering” 21.9% growth year-on-year. To cut capacity to the same levels as Q4 2016 an average of 2.5 sailings per week would need to be cancelled.

Posted 11 October 2017

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Marcus Hand

Editor, Seatrade Maritime News

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