Container lines cut Asia vessel capacity 23%


Container lines reduced vessel capacity in the Asia trades by some 23% between mid-January and mid-March this year as smaller vessels were deployed according Ocean Insights (OI).

Looking at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the container shipping market OI said that lines had responded by replacing larger volume vessels with smaller ones, in particular on the Asia trades.

“This is reflected in measured Vessel Capacity (in teu) across major carriers which is especially strong in the Asian trade lanes with a 23% detected decrease from mid-January to mid-March. 

“In comparison, the global decline is less acute with a 7% decrease from a peak of 16.8m teu capacity in mid-January to a low of 15.5m teu measured capacity,” OI said.

Blank sailings have been a major means of managing capacity in container shipping has been blank sailings. “The OI system has detected an ‘unusually high’ number of blank sailings,” the analyst commented.

Its system counted 386 blank sailing announcements that will take place between mid-March until the end of April 2020.