The CKYH alliance of four Asian ocean carriers will not revive its NE4 Asia-North Europe service that was suspended last October, following moves by rival lines that have also axed loops amid sluggish cargo growth and softening spot freight rates.
The alliance, comprising South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping, “K” Line of Japan, Taiwanese line Yang Ming and China’s Cosco, is also suspending its NE1 Asia-Europe service.
The carriers said they will retain port coverage of the abandoned services with new loops in a reorganized network of four Asia-North Europe services and three Asia-Mediterranean operations starting in April.
Earlier, Maersk Line, the leading Asia-Europe carrier, with a market share exceeding 20 percent, dropped its AE-9 loop just week after it was revived. The G6 alliance also axed an Asia-Europe service.
The CKYH announcement comes just days before carriers try to implement westbound rate hikes of up to $700 per 20-foot container.
Westbound spot freight rates fell below $1,000 per 20-foot container last week and are now around 20 percent below their level at the beginning of the year.