The London-based industry consultancy Drewry predicts that more ocean carriers will cancel sailings instead of withdrawing whole services during the winter and this practice will continue until the P3 alliance of Maersk, Mediterranean Shipping Co., and CMA CGM begins its new services in the second quarter of next year.
“More sailing cancellations are on the way as the P3 alliance has yet to spell out its intentions in any detail, and competitors will be loath to risk losing market share by taking more radical capacity reduction measures in the interim,” Drewry said in its current edition of Container Insight Weekly
Last winter's sailing cancellations were motivated by indecision over future trade growth, while this year’s cancellations will be also driven by uncertainty over the P3 alliance’s intentions,” Drewry said.
“Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM have so far only outlined the number of East-West services they intend to provide from 2Q14, and do not expect to confirm port rotations and how services shared with other lines will operate until the first part of 4Q13, so competing carriers will not want to jeopardise market share in any way before then. Despite the current state of over-capacity on East-West routes, only the merger of two peak season transpacific services in mid-October has been announced to date (CKYH’s CAX and Evergreen’s CPS2). On the other hand, sailing cancellation announcements are increasing every week,” Drewry explained.