Two rival groups of ocean carriers with separate weekly loops in the Asia-to-east coast of South America trade are each skipping alternate sailings and taking slots on each other's ships to reduce their overall capacity provided by about 50 percent.
The Hanjin Shipping/Zim Lines/CCNI partners have slowed their ALX loop to extra-slow steam with a roundtrip voyage of 84 days, now matching the already-slowed 84-day roundtrip voyage time of the NYK/"K" Line/PIL/Hyundai NHX/AESA 1 loop.
With both loops now coordinating alternate fortnightly sailings, each of the seven lines will offer a combined weekly sailing through the first quarter of 2013, effectively achieving a merger of the two loops in all but name.
However, both the ALX and NHX/AES 1 vessels will continue to follow roughly the same port rotations as previously, so that some south American ports will only be called on average every 14 days. About 12 ships will be saved overall and average speeds on the main legs will remain significantly reduced.
A spokesman for NYK Line in North America confirmed "the two consortium have rationalized the loops during the slower demand winter season, with alternating week coverage as indicated." - BlueWater Reporting
, Francis Phillips