Ocean Freight Blankings Update
As COVID-19 continues to disrupt markets around the world, ocean carriers are reducing capacity and sailing speeds. With sailing options reduced and many scheduled departure and arrival times falling away, supply chain lead times are likely to increase.
At Stolt Tank Containers, we are working closely with carriers across the various alliances to offer our customers as much flexibility as possible, to help you to navigate issues caused by cancelled sailings and limited space. This webpage will be refreshed periodically with new numbers, information and visuals on our largest trade lanes. Insights on other trades can be provided on request, so don’t hesitate to reach out!
The month of May is seeing blanked capacity equal to the levels we saw in back in February right after Chinese New Year. In May, more than 500.000 TEU of weekly global headhaul capacity (21% of total) was blanked. For June, a total of 344.000 TEU weekly capacity was blanked. Since our last update, additional blank sailings have been announced for Q3. So far, the global numbers are not equal to the blankings we saw in May or June. There are however some trade differences.
Following a peak in blank sailing post-Chinese New Year, we have seen continued blank sailings through March and April, and further increasing in May with 27% of trade capacity being removed in this month. For June the number was 19%.
THE Alliance and the 2M alliance have announced several blank sailings for Q3. Since our last update, it has now become clear that blank sailings will continue on this trade. THE Alliance’s FE4 service is suspended until September. The AE2/Swan and the AE20/Dragon service (2M) are suspended until October. We also see some blankings on the MD1, MD2 and MD2 services of THE Alliance.
Asia to Europe
It seems the Ocean Alliance keeping most of its capacity sailing on this trade.
THE Alliance’s FE4 service is suspended until August. The AE2/Swan service (2M) is blanked during whole of May. The FX7/FAL7/AEU7/NE7/LL3 (Ocean Alliance) is also blanked during whole of May.
Europe to Asia
Europe to Asia picture as below
Asia to US West Coast
Capacity reductions as a result of blank sailings have been manageable on the Asia to US West Coast trade for a while, but blanked capacity has been on the rise ever since the post-Chinese New Year period in March. 19% of capacity was blanked during May. June showed 10% blanked capacity.
Since our last update, carriers have been “unblanking” sailings on this trade. And we actually see capacity coming back into market for Q3. We currently do not see any structural blankings on this trade.
A service with some blankings in Q3 is the PS3 service (THE Alliance).
The TP8/Orient (2M) service is suspended till August. Furthermore, we see that THE Alliance has suspended their PS5 service till July. Their PN3, PN4, PS3 and PS4 services have several blank sailing during May and June.
US West Coast to Asia
US West Coast to Asia picture as below
We saw a reduction of blank sailings on the Asia to US West Coast trade. This is not fully the case for the Asia to US East Coast trade.
Asia to US East Coast
Especially in July, we see some blanking on the TP11/Elephant service (2M) and the EC3 service (THE Alliance).
US East Coast to Asia picture as below.
US East Coast to Asia
Europe – US East Coast
We have not seen the same trend on the Transatlantic trade compared to the Transpacific or Asia - Europe trades. Throughout March and April, the number of blank sailing has remained relatively low. In April we saw 12% of trade capacity being blanked, going up to 19% in May. In June the number fell back to 12%.
Trade does not seem to fully pick up yet on this trade. 2M has fully suspended the TA4/NEUATL4 service throughout Q3. We also see some blankings on the AL1 and AL4 service (THE Alliance).
US East Coast - Europe
US East Coast to Europe picture as below.
An overview of the 3 main shipping line alliances can be found below. Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) recently left their strategic cooperation with the 2M alliance and is now a full member of THE Alliance.
- APM-Maersk Group incl. Hamburg Süd
- Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC)
- CMA CGM Group
- COSCO Group incl. OOCL
- Ocean Network Express (ONE)
- Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM)
- Yang Ming