Shipping Industry Faces Disruptions With Cancelled Sailings And Rising Rates


  • Cancelled sailings (7%) are announced across major routes for the next five weeks due to port congestion and the Red Sea crisis.
  • Despite cancellations, most ships (93%) are still expected to sail.
  • However, freight rates are rising (up to 3% on some routes) with more hikes expected soon. Drewry offers solutions to help shippers navigate these challenges.

Cancelled Sailings

A total of 46 blank sailings have been announced across major East-West routes (Transpacific, Transatlantic, Asia-North Europe & Med) for the next five weeks (between June 17th and July 21st). This represents a 7% cancellation rate compared to the 661 scheduled sailings.

Breakdown by Route

  • Transpacific Eastbound: 57% of cancelled sailings
  • Asia-North Europe & Med: 30% of cancelled sailings
  • Transatlantic Westbound: 13% of cancelled sailings

Alliance Cancellations

  • OCEAN Alliance: 14 cancellations
  • 2M Alliance: 8 cancellations
  • THE Alliance: 7 cancellations
  • Non-Alliance Services: 17 cancellations

Despite cancellations, 93% of ships are still expected to sail as scheduled during the next five weeks.

Freight Rate Increases

  • Drewry’s WCI Composite Index rose 2% to $4,801 per container.
  • Rates increased on Asia-Europe and Med routes (3%) and Transpacific lanes (1%).
  • Transatlantic routes saw a decline in rates (-1%).

Reasons for Disruptions

  • The shipping industry is facing challenges similar to the pandemic, including:
    • Supply-demand imbalances
    • Port congestion
    • Container shortages
  • The ongoing crisis in the Red Sea is a significant contributor to these disruptions.

Future Outlook

  • Further rate increases are anticipated as major carriers implement Peak Season Surcharge hikes in mid-June and early July.
  • The market’s ability to absorb these hikes and potential mitigation strategies remain to be seen.

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Source: Drewry