Analysis Of Cancelled Sailings And Impact Of Baltimore Bridge Collapse

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Across the major East-West headhaul trades: Transpacific, Transatlantic and Asia-North Europe & Med, 48 cancelled sailings have been announced between week 14 (1 Apr-7 Apr) and week 18 (29 Apr-5 May), out of a total of 650 scheduled sailings, representing 7% cancellation rate.

Weekly analysis: 29 Mar 2024

During this period, 46% of the blank sailings will occur on the Transpacific Eastbound, 33% on the Asia-North Europe and Med and 21% on the Transatlantic Westbound trade.

Over the next five weeks, THE Alliance have announced 14.5 cancellations, followed by OCEAN Alliance and 2M with 12.5 and 6 cancellations, respectively. During the same period, 15 blank sailings have been implemented by non-Alliance services.

As can be seen above, we expect a decline in carrier service reliability with on average 93% of the ships expected to sail as scheduled.

On the ocean freight side, Drewry’s World Container Index contracted 3% WoW to $2,929 per 40ft dry container, yet remained 89% higher than the December 2023 average ($1,548). This week, Transpacific EB rates fell 5%, while those on Asia-Europe and the Med dropped 2% and Transatlantic rates fell 1%.

On 26 March, the container ship collided with Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge causing the entire central steel section of the bridge to collapse into the main shipping channel. For the foreseeable future access to Baltimore Port will be severely restricted, delaying or necessitating the redirection of cargo to other ports.

On the ocean freight front, we do not expect port-to-port rates along the USEC to be adversely affected by the disruption. However, the closure of the port of Baltimore will prompt traffic to divert through alternative logistics pathways, potentially leading to heightened inland transportation costs for cargo rerouted to neighbouring ports such as New York or Hampton Roads.

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Source: Drewry