The transpacific trade faces a worrying period of overcapacity through 2015, according to the consultant SeaIntel Maritime Analysis.
The results are quite parallel to a projection SeaIntel made on the Asia-Europe trade earlier this month, suggesting liner overcapacity on the key east-west trades is linked and endemic.
“The capacity reductions seen in the past few months (on the transpacific) have been insufficient to restore balance between supply and demand, as import demand growth to the U.S. continues to be negative,” the analyst said in its SeaIntel Sunday Spotlight
. “Unless further capacity reduction is announced, we do not expect the supply/demand situation to improve in Q1 2012.”
Furthermore, with an influx of ships coming online in need of a trade to call home, overcapacity could well reign on the transpacific unless demand skyrockets.
“We find that U.S. imports from Asia need to grow 45-50 percent over the next three years in order to match supply and demand,” SeaIntel said. “This is based on an assumption of no new services being launched; hence all capacity increases arise from the phase-in of new larger ships from the orderbook or cascaded from the Asia-Europe service.”
SeaIntel said the recent establishment of new alliances – including the CKYH-Evergreen tie-up announced Tuesday – won’t alleviate this problem.
“The new alliances do not reduce capacity from the market based on announcements made to date,” SeaIntel said. “Consequently we expect to see further changes in the competitive landscape going forward, and we do not expect the price war to be over just yet. Additionally we see the pressure now intensifying on UASC, Zim, CSAV and China Shipping as the remaining operators not part of the newly announced constellations.”