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Finally, carriers add more loops, cancel fewer sailings

Are carrier services getting more predictable? In a volatile, under-supplied market, it is a nice feeling when you perceive that things start to look better.

Based on Drewry data, we are reaching this stage: carriers are adding new services or reinstating old ones, significantly expanding the supply for the peak season. More competition is increasing the range of available shipping options. Meanwhile, established carriers are working to restore some of their disrupted schedules.

Key numbers: Ocean carriers will add 10 transpacific loops and 4 Asia-North Europe services between May and July.

Having previously shrunk after the end of the pandemic boom, the number of carrier competitors is set to increase again: Ellerman will re-enter the Asia-Europe route and SeaLead and BAL Container Line the transpacific

Drewry also expects that the delivery of new ships to the market will continue to fill gaps in carriers’ disrupted schedules. This means that the number of sailings “cancelled” by carriers is also declining – see chart. Analysis from the Drewry Container Capacity Insight concludes that the number of cancelled sailings on the transpacific and Asia-North Europe/Mediterranean routes will decline from 62 in May to about 51 in June and to less than 41 (forecast) in July.

Our view

It is too early to say that carrier services are highly predictable, in Drewry’s view. Port congestion is still chronic in many ports in Asia and the Mediterranean. The closure of the Suez Canal continues to delay ships and cargoes. Plus there is the risk of port strikes on the US East and Gulf coasts, making planning still relatively uncertain and open to new disruptions.

Can you remember when container shipping services were reliable?
Source: Drewry

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