Transpacific blank sailings increase

Transpacific blank sailings increase

According to the latest analysis from Sea-Intelligence, the average number of transpacific blank sailings has risen from June to August.

The biggest issue in gauging the market’s supply/demand strength is that demand data is notoriously laggard, reported Sea-Intelligence.

As a result, the greatest real-time indication of market strength is the capacity side, where blank sailings play an important role.

Figure 1 depicts the increase of Asia-North America West Coast (NAWC) blank sailings between June and August. The picture depicts the blank sailings for the months of June and August as they were in each individual week from week 23 to week 30.

© Sea-Intelligence

Sea-Intelligence saw an increase in the average number of weekly blank sailings in June from week 23 to week 26, indicating late notifications of certain blanks.

The orange bars in Figure 1 depict the development for July, where there is a significant increase from week 25 to week 26, which is near the end of June.

READ: Early peak season on way as Transpacific supply chain capacity booms

Finally it can also be seen that there has been an increase in blank sailings for August in the last two weeks of July. This level of blank sailings is substantially higher in Asia-NAWC than in the three other trades.

Alan Murphy, CEO of Sea-Intelligence, stated: “Digging deeper, we find a clear correlation between the sharp uptick in blank sailings activity on the Transpacific at the end of June, and the subsequent improvement in spot rates.

“There was also an uptick in blanking activity on Asia-North Europe at the end of June, although it has not resulted in spot rate increase, implying that the ‘tool’ of blanking sailings in itself has been insufficient to stem the seeping rates.

“For Asia-MED the carriers have been quite unwilling to blank sailings. One explanatory variable here might be the very large rate premium on the Asia-MED versus the Asia-North Europe trade.”

In March 2023, Sea-Intelligence found that scheduled capacity on the Asia-Europe route was reflective of actual deployment unlike on the Transpacific route.

More recently, Sea-Intelligence reported that the rate of contraction for both loaded imports and overall handled volumes has been steadily slowing down in recent months.

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