The share of non-alliance shipping services continued to decline at the start of the year as freight rates began dropping from 2022.
Sea Intelligence said in a report that earlier, as the market strengthened after the initial Covid hit, there was a confluence of small carriers that started to deploy capacity, especially on the Transpacific trade, and major carriers that started to introduce services outside of the alliance networks.
"The idea was to take advantage of the opportunity provided by the very high freight rate environment," the Danish maritime data analysis.
Nonetheless, it noted that as rates started dropping, so are the number of non-alliance services with little incentive to continue operating these services on the back of weaker demand and falling rates.
"[The figure] shows this development across the Asia-North America West Coast trade lane. The addition of these non-alliance services meant that at the peak of the market, their market share had essentially doubled," Sea-Intelligence said.
"But as the freight rates began to drop in 2022, the share of non-alliance services also began to decline, and looking into 2023-Q1, they are poised to continue to decline," it added.
The maritime analyst noted that there is still more relative capacity operated by non-alliance services than before the pandemic. Still, if the rate of decline continues, this will revert back to pre-Covid levels before the end of 2023.
"On Asia-North America East Coast, there was a similar trend of increasing non-alliance capacity as the market initially strengthened. However, even though there is a distinct decline coming into 2023, there is no sign presently that we are about to go back to pre-pandemic levels," Sea-Intelligence said.