An article in the latest issue of Drewry Container Weekly
contends that the three largest container shipping lines, Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM, "now have such big economies of scale in the transpacific that they can ride out the current eastbound freight rate war more comfortably than the rest of the pack, should they choose to do so."
In an article entitled "Top three muscle out others,
" the London-based consultants write that the three carriers deployed vessels that averaged 32-percent higher TEUs compared to the normal ship size on the lane. "CMA CGM’s
(8,822 TEU) was a hefty 36 percent more, MSC’s (8,712 TEU) was 34 percent greater and
Maersk Line’s (8,108 TEU) was 25 percent higher," the authors wrote.
Drewry says carriers have cut out "West Coast North America ports where insufficient demand exists for big ships, or access to big ships is restricted because of physical limitations."
Other carriers will benefit when they casacade larger vessels out of the Asia/Europe trade into the transpacific.
In another article focusing on trade between Asia and the East Coast of North America, Drewry said liner capacity grew 12 percent between March and May
Drewry said "ocean carriers need more U.S. trade growth to justify what seems like a leap of faith" and predicts "as with last year, this year’s peak season is unlikely to live up to expectations."
It says carriers should start planning for a reduction in capacity, either by withdrawing services or the greater utilization of vessels for what it calls "wayport cargo" moving between intermediary ports, particularly on trans-Suez strings from Asia to the U.S. East Coast. - Chris Dupin