Shipping lines operating on the trades between Asia and Europe have announced 45 blank sailings within the last week with the 2M Alliance cutting its AE2/Swan and AE20/Dragon services, by itself the equivalent of 21% of the capacity on the routes.
Danish consultancy Sea-Intelligence in its weekly bulletin said the 2M Alliance’s announcement will take in the whole of the second quarter the Swan and Dragon services, though the alliance offered a caveat that should demand return earlier than expected then the lines could revise the schedules again.
“Given the short notice as well as extended duration, this can only be seen as a reflection in a similar sharp decline in both active and expected booking activity from their customers. It should therefore be expected that this week will see a further rapid escalation in the amount of blank sailings both by other carriers as well as in other trade lanes,” said Sea-Intelligence.
The Danish consultancy added that the decline in demand has led to a drop off in bookings and that the substantial fall in bookings will mean cancellations. This situation will inevitably lead to a reconfiguring of supply chains, but it is unclear how long this period will last so any new arrangements will necessarily “all be ad hoc,” said Sea-Intelligence.