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Container alliance grip on Transpacific trade slips

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Non-alliance services on the Transpacific trades have sharply increase in recent months, according to a Sea-Intelligence report.

Non-alliance services on the Transpacific container trades have sharply increased in recent months, according to a Sea-Intelligence report.

Analysing the 13-week rolling average of capacity on the Asia-North America West Coast trades over the past decade, disruption in the balance of alliance and non-alliance capacity is clear since the outbreak of the pandemic.

After a stable period of around 80% alliance capacity share in 2012-2020, alliance capacity rose sharply to near 90% in response to the pandemic. “Clearly, the immediate impact of the pandemic was that non-alliance services were much more likely to be blanked than alliance services,” said Alan Murphy, CEO, Sea-Intelligence.

Since that initial retreat to 10% of the Asia-North America West Coast container trade, non-alliance capacity has rebounded to represent 35% of capacity. Alliances dominated the Asia-North America East Coast trade from 2019, but non-alliance capacity has captured 10% of the market since mid-2020.

“The development on Asia-Europe is starkly different than on Asia-North America. The market on this trade is nearly fully serviced by alliances,” said Murphy. “The recent market disruption has done little to change this situation. A few non-alliance services have been seen; however, the number of such sailings and the small size of the vessels being used, means that this has an overall insignificant effect on the total capacity in the market.”

The difference between the two trade lanes suggests lower barriers to entry on the Asia-North America trades, he added.

TAGS: Americas