As the Spring Festival is approaching, due to weak demand, the downward trend of global transportation demand continues, forcing liner companies including Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) to continue to cut capacity. Both Zim and CLX+ routes will be suspended for 3 weeks during the Spring Festival.
According to Alphaliner, a shipping information and data provider, this week, there is only one container ship “MSC Alexandra” with a capacity of 14,036TEU operating on the AE1/Shogun route of the 2M alliance.
According to the data of eeSea, a shipping industry data analysis company, in the 77-day round trip of the AE1/Shogun route, a total of 11 ships with an average capacity of 15,414 TEU were deployed (Usually 11 ships with a capacity ranging from 13,000 to 20,000 TEU were deployed on the ring route. )
“While there is no official shutdown, the route is currently a ‘ghost loop’ with almost the entire fleet gone,” the consultant said.
Alphaliner said the 2M alliance’s capacity management strategy in response to declining demand and the expected off-season after the Chinese New Year is to focus on two of the six Asia-North Europe routes,including cutting four AE55/Griffin voyages and canceling AE1/ Shogun route. Focusing all cuts on these routes has allowed the 2M alliance partners to maintain regular sailings on other routes, including those into the Baltic directly serving Sweden, Denmark and Poland. It added that Maersk and MSC decided to cancel the first two voyages in 2023 due to the forecast sluggish demand for cargo,and the AE1/Shogun circle will not resume the entire fleet operation in the short term.