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SeaIntel sees upcoming overcapacity in Asia-Europe

SeaIntel sees upcoming overcapacity in Asia-Europe

The Asia-Europe trades are looking set for overcapacity and a resultant increase in blank sailings during the post-Lunar New Year period.

According to figures from container shipping analysts SeaIntel Maritime Analysis, with the current vessel deployment schedule, Asia-North Europe capacity is scheduled to grow 8.8% year-on-year in the week 11-22 period, while Asia-Mediterranean is slated to grow 6.5%.

“Capacity injection of 8.8% is not necessarily bad on its own, if matched by a similar growth in demand,” said SeaIntel shipping analyst Imaad Asad.

While noting that Asia-North Europe demand growth for the coming 12 weeks remained an unknown, Asad pointed out that full-year demand growth in 2017 amounted to just 3.7%, and this collapsed further to 0.7% for the fourth quarter. “In this light, the current capacity projections do seem very optimistic,” he said.

SeaIntel calculated that if a more modest capacity growth of 5% was targeted, carriers would have to blank a combined 112,000 teu over the 12-week period, or an average of 9,300 teu per week. With an average vessel size of 15,100 teu, this would then correspond to the blanking of 7.4 average-sized sailings.

SeaIntel noted that while capacity injection on the Asia-Mediterranean trade lane was not as severe, capacity is still growing “rather strongly”.

Based on a growth projection of 5%, carriers would have to blank a combined 25,000 teu over the coming 12-week period, or an average of a little more than 2,000 teu per week. With an average vessel size of 11,200 TEU, this corresponds to the blanking of 2.2 average-sized sailings, Asad said.

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