Carriers took out 3 million TEU from Asia-Europe and Transpacific trades

Source: PxHere

Responding to the global demand drop caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, container shipping majors have removed a total of 3 million TEU of capacity from Asia-Europe and Transpacific trades combined, the latest data from Sea-Intelligence shows.

The Copenhagen-based consultancy focusing on the container shipping sector said that when compared to the normal removal seen during Chinese New Year, the sector is currently facing a demand decline of roughly 6.4 million TEU globally.

The estimate is being made in the wake of an increasing number of blank sailings, which have surpassed the 384 figure as of April 11th.

The count of blank sailings includes both the early blank sailings in China and the newer blank sailings from the global spread.

Furthermore, as countries across the globe are still fighting the pandemic with only essential services continuing operation, the trend is likely to continue at least for the second quarter of the year.

As such the light at the end of the tunnel seems distant, with worsening predictions for the shipping market emerging on a daily basis amid slowing global economic growth.

Parallels are being made with the financial crisis from 2008 and its impact on the container shipping sector, however, it remains difficult to measure the consequences.

The extent of the impact boils down to the timing of the world’s economic recovery and expected bouncing back of demand.

“If the world returns fully to normal after the 2nd quarter and the carriers do not cancel any further sailings – which appears quite unlikely – this would still lead to a demand decline for the full-year 2020 of 4%,” Alan Murphy, CEO & Founder of Sea-Intelligence, said.

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