Ocean Freight Trends: 32 Cancelled Sailings In 653 Scheduled

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Weekly analysis: 10 May 2024

Across the major East-West headhaul trades: Transpacific, Transatlantic and Asia-North Europe & Med, 32 cancelled sailings have been announced between week 20 (13 May-19 May) and week 24 (10 Jun-16 Jun), out of a total of 653 scheduled sailings, representing 5% cancellation rate.

During this period, 53% of the blank sailings will occur on the Transpacific Eastbound, 25% on the Asia-North Europe and Med and 22% on the Transatlantic Westbound trade.

Over the next five weeks, OCEAN Alliance have announced 10.5 cancellations, followed by THE Alliance and 2M with 8.5 and 5 cancellations, respectively. During the same period, 8 blank sailings have been implemented by non-Alliance services.

As can be seen in the chart above, on average 95% of the ships are expected to sail as scheduled, over the next five weeks.

On the ocean freight side, Drewry’s Composite Freight Index surged significantly by 16% WoW to $3,159. This week, rates on Asia-Europe and Med as well as Transpacific routes were up by 17%; however, the Transatlantic rates fell 2% WoW.

The rise in rates from Asia suggests that carriers were successful in implementing announced GRI’s effective from 1 May. This uptick in rates may stem from a surge in demand and a small squeeze in space availability, intensified by a shortage in empty equipment in Asia.

Additionally, adverse weather conditions and resulting congestion at major Asian hubs such as Shanghai and Ningbo could be contributing factors in creating favourable conditions for an increase in rates. In Week 18, congestion at high-traffic Asian ports increased by 11% WoW.

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Source: Drewry