The liner carrier Mediterranean Shipping Co. said Tuesday it has stopped accepting export bookings from Europe to Asia until the first week of April.
The move mirrors a similar bookings stop carriers made on the eastbound trade from Europe to Asia last spring. The moves in 2012 were led by Maersk Line, which stopped accepting bookings in March
, and then followed by other lines, including MSC.
“These measures have been taken in order to allow the cargo booked in time to receive the best attention and required level service, especially in view of the well-known and widely announced limited availability of space and equipment during the incoming weeks,” the carrier said.
Soren Skou, chief executive officer of Maersk Line, said Monday that container carriers had done a good job of managing short-term changes in demand, noting they have collectively cancelled 31 sailings between Asia and the United States due to reduced cargo volumes because of the seasonal slowdown around Chinese New Year.
“It is an really important and quite sensible strategy by the industry because it allows us to save costs, because we are not sailing half-empty ships, we are filling up some ships and not using others and saving the fuel cost,” Skou said.
For more details about the trade, also see BlueWater Reporting chart
. - Eric Johnson
and Chris Dupin