The Alliance is forced to cancel itineraries between Asia and Europe
As reported by Alphaliner, spot freights from Shanghai to Northern Europe and the Western Mediterranean have surpassed $ 10,000/FEU for the first time, pushing the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) to a record of 3,343 points.
Specifically, average spot rates from Shanghai to Northern Europe increased by 16% to almost $ 10,900/FEU. However, this high figure does not include the several thousand dollars premiums that shippers often have to pay to secure an empty container and reserve guarantee.
The schedules of the shipping lines show that Hapag-Lloyd, HMM, Ocean Network Express (ONE), and Yang Ming will not be able to take full advantage of the increased rates in the coming weeks, as they will be forced to apply blank sailings (cancellation of itineraries) on the Asia-North Europe route (and therefore also subsequent return trips) at the end of this month and at the beginning of June. According to Alphaliner, this was caused by a general shortage of available container ship tonnage due to strong demand, massive delays at ports, and the consequences of the closure of the Suez Canal in late March.
The alliance partners will be forced to skip the October 30 departure from the port of Busan, South Korea, of The Alliance's FE2 service. Blank sailings will also be applied for FE3 service: despite the fact that HMM is introducing 16,010 TEUs in this Far East-North Europe service, THE Alliance members still do not have enough vessels in Asia between the end of May and June 13 from Hong Kong.
Members of the Ocean Alliance and 2M have yet to announce blank sailings, but their schedules are similarly disrupted by the delays.
It should be noted that the number of days between two consecutive departures of some 'weekly' Asia-Europe services now varies between 4 and 11 days.