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Maersk cuts Asia - Europe capacity by 9%

Maersk cuts Asia - Europe capacity by 9%
Copenhagen: Maersk Line has bitten the bullet and is removing 9% of capacity it is currently operating on the Asia – Europe trade. The world’s largest container line said overcapacity on the trade had pushed its freight rates to unsustainably low levels. 

“With this adjustment we are able to reduce our Asia – Europe capacity and improve vessel utilisation without giving up any market share we have gained over the past two years. We will defend our market share position at any cost, while focusing on growing with the market and restoring profitability,” said Maersk Line ceo, Søren Skou. 

The 9% capacity cut is being achieved in part with a vessel sharing agreement with CMA CGM enabling Maersk to maintain its full coverage on the key tradelane.

Consultants Alphaliner predict demand of just 1.5% this year on the Asia – Europe trade while the container industry fleet is set to grow by 8.3%.

Similarly bleak market conditions in early 2009 saw the boxshipping industry lay-up or idle 10% of the global fleet, however, in the current slump lines have been reluctant until now to withdraw tonnage.