Alphaliner: Carriers Cover Service Gaps Created by Hanjin’s Demise

Fears of capacity shortages created by Hanjin Shipping’s demise have faded, as some nine extraloaders are already en-route or planned on the Asia-US West Coast route in September, with a further six sailings currently scheduled in October, according to Alphaliner.

On the Asia-Europe route, only one extra sailing was mounted while initial plans by South Korean carrier Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) to add one full Asia-Europe string have been scaled down due to weak demand.

Spare capacity has allowed Hanjin’s former CKYHE partner carriers to shift volumes on other existing Asia-Europe loops, including an O3 service.

Hanjin’s erstwhile partners on the other affected sectors have also moved to replace Hanjin’s tonnage with their own ships on their jointly operated services and arranged alternative solutions in order to minimise the impact of the service disruptions brought about by Hanjin’s sudden withdrawal in late August.

“Although spot rates on the Transpacific and Asia-Europe routes jumped by 25%-50% in the immediate aftermaths of the announcement of Hanjin’s bankruptcy filing, they have now stabilised,” Alphaliner said, adding that they may slip in the next few weeks before weakening further in October, with China’s National Day “Golden Week” holidays starting from October 1 marking the start of the traditional slack season.

The most pressing issue remains the stranded cargo on Hanjin operated vessels as the company has yet to announce any firm recovery plans.

Although some of its ships have docked over the last few days to discharge containers, the majority of its fleet remains either idle at offshore anchorages or are slowed down at sea, with 75 out of 97 ships it operates still stuck with cargo on board, Alphaliner said.

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