Carriers have removed 3M TEU from Asia-Europe and transpacific combined due to the coronavirus pandemic
Sea-Intelligence said in its latest Sunday Spotlight report that as of 11 April, 384 sailings are now blanked due to the coronavirus pandemic. During the past week, carriers announced an additional 83 blank sailings on various deepsea trades.
The number last week was 212 blank sailings due to the pandemic, but there had previously been 89 blank sailings during the outbreak in China.
Sea-Intelligence chief executive Alan Murphy explained “As the outbreak has developed, it no longer makes sense to separate the impact seen from the virus in China from the impact seen in the rest of the world. Hence the count of blank sailings now includes both the early blank sailings in China and the newer blank sailings from the global spread.”
On Asia-Europe and transpacific tradelanes combined, the carriers have now removed 3M TEU of capacity. Mr Murphy commented “To put this into perspective, this equals 2.4 times the normal removal seen during Chinese New Year.”
He added “As it is well known how much demand declines each year due to Chinese New Year, it is possible to also estimate the demand impact from the pandemic outbreak. The blank sailings must be seen as the carriers’ reaction to an actual demand decline.”
Comparing the pandemic blank sailings to the Chinese New Year blank sailings, the container shipping trade is facing a demand decline of roughly 6.4M TEU globally.
Mr Murphy said “If the world returns fully to normal after Q2 and the carriers do not cancel any further sailings – which appears quite unlikely – this would still lead to a demand decline for full year 2020 of 4%."