Container capacity on the Transpacific route would remain unchanged this year as shipping lines currently do not plan any increases, according to Alphaliner.
The carriers’ cautious approach marks the first time since 2009 that no new transpacific services are to be introduced on the route in the transpacific contract season, which starts on May 1, for the summer’s peak shipping season.
Alphaliner said that Transpacific cargo volumes are expected to weaken this year, and eastbound liftings data for the first two months of the year already shows a reduction of -1.0%.
On the Far East – USWC route, the total number of weekly services will be cut from 37 to 36 sailings from April, due to the withdrawal of the Zim Med Pacific (ZMP) service. Zim will then join the 2M on the Far East – PNW TP-9/Maple service and contribute four of the seven 8,400 TEU vessels to be deployed on the revamped loop.
The partners of THE Alliance will combine their existing PS1 and PS2 loops into a new FP1 pendulum service, connecting North Europe, Asia and the US West Coast. The merged service will use 15 ships of 9,000 TEU, resulting in a small reduction in overall capacity of some 400 TEU weekly.
However, THE Alliance will add a new PN4 service, using six classic Panamax ships with an average intake of 4,600 TEU. This additional capacity will nonetheless be offset by the downsizing of the carrier group’s existing PN3 service from the 13,300 TEU scale to 8,600 TEU, as the larger ships will be re-deployed to the Asia – Europe route, Alphaliner concluded.