115 sailings blanked on Asia-Europe trade in 2013: SeaIntel report
SHIPPING lines will blank 115 sailings on the Asia-Europe trade in 2013, equal to an annual capacity reduction of six per cent or 1.1 million TEU, according to SeaIntel's maritime analysis.
Within this total, 49 of the blank sailings were recorded around Chinese New Year and Chinese Golden week, while the remaining 66 were scheduled over the course of the year.

A release from the company said carriers are to a higher degree using blank sailings as an option to adjust and manage their capacity, instead of cancelling entire services.

From a carrier perspective this is also most likely the easiest way to manage capacity in the short term and has less impact on the network from a long-term perspective, if compared to suspension of a service.

"The carriers' need for blanked sailings in 2014 depends on many factors. However, we already know that 2014 will be the year where most vessels with a capacity in excess of 10,000 TEU will be delivered from the yards to the market. The majority of these vessels will be deployed on Asia-Europe," said SeaIntel COO Alan Murphy.

"With endemic overcapacity expected to continue in 2014, the carriers will again be forced to dive into the tool box and suspend services, add extra ports to services or blank sailings. We do not believe that the carriers will sail much slower, as the potential bunker savings from further slow steaming would be negligible.

"However, the carriers might get an unexpected helping hand from the anti-trust authorities, if the P3 Alliance is approved, as the announced P3 network will mean a reduction in the weekly capacity of 15,000 TEU from May 2014," said Mr Murphy.