Sea Intelligence analysis

Has the blank sailing peak been reached?

by Port News Editorial Staff

The peak of the pandemic for container transport may have been reached. Sea-Intelligence highlights this, pointing out that only seven more blank sailings were announced last week, which is nothing compared to the over 500 cancellations that have led traffic and ports to plummet since the beginning of the economic crisis. Not only that, the tonnage put on the market has apparently increased thanks to the commissioning of larger vessels.

At the moment, estimates indicate that between 15 and 25% of total capacity has been withdrawn so far on the transpacific routes. The Asia-Europe trade has also seen capacity reduced by a quarter. While capacity has been halved on routes between Asia and the east coast of South America.

According to Sea Intelligence, carriers have managed to face the difficult economic situation in the best possible way. Net of fuel costs, in fact, the freight rates remained at higher percentage levels than the previous year, with increases of almost +40% in the case of trade between Asia and the Mediterranean.

So, is the situation returning to normal? Not really. Sea Int. emphasizes that everything will depend on how carriers manage the situation in the third quarter of the year. The company said that the demand for maritime transport would remain stagnant for the next few months too. Carriers could therefore be tempted by the idea of keeping the profitability of their hold offer high, cancelling other services.

Translation by Giles Foster

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