Non-alliance shipping capacity surges on key trade routes

Non-alliance shipping capacity surges on key trade routes

The Asia to North America West Coast trade route is set to experience a notable rise in the proportion of shipping capacity provided by non-alliance operators, found Sea-Intelligence.

The firm reported that nearly 30 per cent of the total deployed capacity on this route will soon be offered by non-alliance operators. This increase reflects current deployment plans from shipping lines and signifies a significant shift in market dynamics.

The COVID-19 pandemic severely disrupted global supply chains, particularly impacting non-alliance shipping services, which operate independently from established alliance frameworks. Initially, many of these services halted operations on major East-West trade routes due to disruptions, noted Sea-Intelligence.

However, as demand for goods surged and spot rates rose, there was a noticeable influx of non-alliance capacity into the market. Even traditionally alliance-dominated routes, such as Asia-North Europe, saw the entry of several niche carriers offering standalone services.

According to Sea-Intellgence’s projections for the next 12 weeks, non-alliance capacity on the Asia-North Europe route could reach record levels, potentially reaching 12 per cent.

However, this trend is less pronounced on the Asia-North America East Coast and Asia-Mediterranean routes, where the influx of non-alliance services has been more modest compared to the Asia-North America West Coast and Asia-North Europe routes.

© Sea-Intelligence

“Across the main East-West trades, it is clear that the main driver of the non-alliance share is spot rates; a sharp increase in spot rates during the pandemic triggered a sharp increase in non-alliance services, and vice versa when the spot rates collapsed in the second half of 2022,” commented Alan Murphy, CEO, Sea-Intelligence.

“This pattern is now repeating again, as the sharp spot rate increases seen in recent months, once again coincide with an increase in non-alliance services.”

In May, global schedule reliability reached its peak for the year at 55.8 per cent, marking a 3.8 percentage point increase from the previous month, as reported in Sea-Intelligence’s 154th edition of the Global Liner Performance (GLP) report.

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