Evergreen Line and Hanjin Shipping said Thursday they will skip three sailings on their recently launched joint Asia-Europe loop over the fourth quarter of 2012 to account for a seasonal slowing in demand.
The service, which Evergreen calls CEM and Hanjin CUS, has already seen one sailing skipped, with two more to come in weeks 44 and 49.
Hanjin and Evergreen said they're considering further capacity reduction on the service depending on market demand and supply situation. More details are to be announced when finalized.
The service has a rotation of Shanghai, Ningbo, Hong Kong, Yantian, Felixstowe, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.
The loop was started after Evergreen broke away in August from a similar loop
it operated with China Shipping, which China Shipping has continued to operate. Evergreen has since been criticized by some analysts for adding capacity to a trade in which demand has fallen this year. Other lines, including those in the CKYH Alliance (of which Hanjin is a member) have dropped services for the winter to rationalize capacity on the trade.
"From being ahead of the slowdown in demand by reducing deployed capacity on the Europe-bound trades in the earlier parts of the year, container line operators now find themselves caught behind by not having adjusted capacity fast enough to the drop in demand," Peter Sand, BIMCO's chief shipping analyst, said in a report on the container shipping industry this week as reported Thursday by Containerisation International
Evergreen, meanwhile, took delivery of the third in a series of 20 8,542-TEU ships this week, part of an order it made in 2010 for ships that it says can be deployed in a numbers of trades (Evergreen added another 10 such ships in a 2011 follow-up order). The latest, the Ever Leading
, is deployed on the joint Asia-Europe loop with Hanjin, but Evergreen said Thursday the vessels are designed to be suitable for the transpacific and South America trades if necessary.
The line expects to take delivery of four more of these vessels this year. - Eric Johnson