Capacity growth in the Asia-Europe liner trade will increase 6.5 percent in 2014 unless carriers cancel services or introduce more blank sailings, according to the latest analysis by SeaIntel.
Sixty-one vessels with a capacity in excess of 10,000 20-foot-equivalent units are forecast to be delivered to ship lines next year, with 49 vessels scheduled to be deployed in Asia-Europe services.
SeaIntel research found that average weekly capacity in the trade will increase from 350,000 TEUs this year to 370,000 TEUs in 2014. In the fourth quarter of 2014 alone, capacity will grow some 13 percent year-over-year unless carriers take action to cut slot availability.
However, if the P3 alliance of Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co. and CMA CGM is approved by the antitrust authorities, some capacity could be pulled from the trade because the alliance has committed to withdrawing one Asia-North Europe string and one Asia-Mediterranean string.
“Even though the P3 carriers should be expected to use their largest vessels in the Asia-Europe trade, and hence only remove their strings with the smallest capacity, we do still expect that the forming of the P3 alliance will reduce capacity by around 4 percent in this trade,” said Alan Murphy, SeaIntel chief operating officer and partner.