Impact of Canceled Sailings on Major East-West Trades

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Across the major East-West head haul trades: Transpacific, Transatlantic, and Asia-North Europe & Med, 44 canceled sailings have been announced between week 17 (22 Apr-28 Apr) and week 21 (20 May-26 May), out of a total of 644 scheduled sailings, representing 7% cancellation rate, reports Drewry.

Canceled Sailings

During this period, 48% of the blank sailings will occur on the Transpacific Eastbound, 36% on the Asia-North Europe and Med, and 16% on the Transatlantic Westbound trade.

Over the next five weeks, THE Alliance has announced 16 cancellations, followed by OCEAN Alliance and 2M with 13 and 4 cancellations, respectively. During the same period, 11 blank sailings have been implemented by non-Alliance services.

As can be seen in the chart above, on average 93% of the ships are expected to sail as scheduled, over the next five weeks except 2M Alliance which hits 97% during the same period.

On the ocean freight side, Drewry’s Composite Freight Index contracted 3% WoW to $2,719, yet it remained 76% higher than the December 2023 average ($1,548). This week, transpacific rates dropped 5%, while rates on Asia-Europe and Med routes decreased 2%, conversely, Transatlantic rates were up by 3%.

The seizure of the container ship near the Strait of Hormuz, coupled with ongoing Red Sea attacks, presents a significant challenge to the container industry and maritime operations. Continued attacks or a complete closure of the strait by Iran could severely impact Middle East container flows, with immediate consequences for global oil markets, including oil prices, shipping routes, and energy security worldwide.

Heightened risks are anticipated to result in increased cargo insurance premiums, while carriers may introduce new surcharges to offset the effects of deteriorating operating conditions, potentially causing freight rates to rise.

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Source: Drewry