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Container line blank sailings increase to 435

Container line blank sailings increase to 435
The number of blanked sailings by container lines has increased to 435 as carriers manage capacity in the face significantly lower demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Analyst Sea Intelligence said that the 435 cancelled sailings indicated a drop in demand equivalent to 7m teu in 2020.

However, by reacting to quickly to the drop in demand with capacity management container lines have been able to maintain freight rates.

“Seen over the past six weeks, the CCFI contract rate index is 11% higher than at the same period last year – despite the drop in both demand and oil prices. The decline in the overall index since Chinese  New Year can be shown to be in line with normal seasonality,” SeaIntel ceo Alan Murphy said.

The analyst noted a difference in terms of how far out the three major alliances were cancelling sailings. The 2M alliance and THE Alliance had announced blank sailing programmes through to the end of Q2, while for the Ocean Alliance the announcements did not go so far ahead.

“As an example on the transpacific, the three alliances have each blanked some 17-24% in weeks 15-21. However for weeks 22-27 2M and THE Alliance have blanked 19-21% whereas Ocean Alliance at this point has blanked only 6%,” Murphy said.

The Ocean Alliance is expected to announce more blank sailings in the latter part of Q2.