Weak transpacific demand claims another casualty
Weak demand in the Far East-North America transpacific trade has forced CMA CGM, Hamburg Sϋd and UASC to withdraw their joint Far East – USEC ‘Vespucci/ APNE/NEU 1’ service, with the Transatlantic leg of this pendulum service to be replaced by a new North Europe-USEC service. The loop’s last sailing from the Far East is planned from Qingdao on 3 August, with the three carriers to offer alternative all-water services through slot arrangements.
The withdrawal of this Far East – USEC service during the traditional summer peak season is a further sign of this year’s weak market conditions in the transpacific trade. It marks the withdrawal of the third transpacific service involving CMA CGM and UASC this summer, following the suspension of the Ocean 3’s Far East – USEC ‘Manhattan Bridge/AAE 3/AUC-2’ and the Far East – USWC ’Bohai/AAC/AWS-2’ service in June, which also involved the Ocean 3 partner CSCL (now part of COSCO).
Earlier this year, at the end of May, CMA CGM had already abandoned plans to deploy its 17,800 teu ‘Great Explorers’ class flagships on the Asia – US West Coast route and instead chose to stick with 11,300 teu tonnage on the service. The G6 carriers meanwhile also confirmed the that the suspension of their Far East – USWC service ’CC1’, implemented in mid-June, would be continued until further notice.
The aforementioned service withdrawals and downgrades are expected to reduce total weekly capacity on the Asia to North America corridor to 429,000 teu by September. Based on Alphaliner’s trade capacity survey, this figure marks a decline of -4.0%, against to the corresponding period of last year.