Despite the sustained introduction of larger vessels, carriers have been managing to reduce the direct capacity of liner services available to shippers during the period between Oct. 1, 2012, and Jan. 1, 2013, according to the latest BlueWater Reporting World Liner Supply Report which can be downloaded here
Cuts in the larger trades from Asia to Europe and to North America have been the most severe, while capacity from Asia and North America to both the east and west coasts of South America is also down. Other trades, such as North America to North Europe/Mediterranean, have remained steady or gained only slightly.
The world’s largest trade, between Asia and Europe/Mediterranean, fell from 340,000 TEUs to 320,000 TEUs available per week one-way, in both directions. The Mediterranean lost around 2,000 TEUs more per week than North Europe. Asia-North America (including Mexico) dropped from 308,000 TEUs to 299,000 TEUs per week. The North America-Asia direction registered a fall from 213,000 TEUs to 207,000 TEUs.
By contrast the significantly smaller North America-Europe/Mediterranean trade stayed level at around 100,000 TEUs per week each way. In both directions capacity provision split 60 percent to/from North Europe and 40 percent to/from the Mediterranean.
It is interesting that Europe/Med-ECSA trade has still not been overtaken by the ECSA trade from Asia. The former averages 37,000 TEUs capacity per week, while the latter has fallen away from 29,000TEUs to 26,500 TEUs per week. Westbound the capacity fell slightly less. North America has an imbalance in capacity available to/from ECSA, with both directions falling by a similar amount – to 18,000 TEUs southbound and 15,000 TEUs northbound.
On the west coast of South America it is the Asian trade which dominates, but only to the tune of 31,000 TEUs per week westbound, down from 32,000 TEUs since Oct. 1. In the eastbound direction capacity is down to 20,000 TEUs from 24,000 TEUs. By contrast Europe-WCSA stays level at 13,000 TEUs northbound and 8,000 TEUs southbound. North America was up 1,000 TEUs both ways, to 16,000 TEUs southbound and 10,000 TEUs northbound.
BlueWater Reporting maps the weekly direct TEU capacity actually provided to shippers. It takes account of skipped sailings and slow steaming, and estimates the proportion of weekly capacity apportioned to other trade lanes in each direction.
The BlueWater Reporting database now continuously covers a global range of liner services, but the quarterly WLSR report offers a unique quarterly timeline back to 2000. It tracks and apportions capacity on named services with named carriers and ships between Asia, Europe, North America and South America. - Bluewater Reporting
, Francis Phillips