Sea-Intelligence reported that more blank sailings have been recorded between Asia-North Europe compared to other trade lanes in the past weeks.
The maritime analyst and data provider used data from its Blank Sailings Tracker to look at any potential recent changes in the blank sailings patterns of the carriers on Transpacific and Asia-Europe.
Starting from week 1 in 2022, Sea-Intel noted that it has calculated the number of planned blank sailings in the coming eight weeks, and in the subsequent week, it calculated the number of planned blank sailings in the same eight-week period, allowing them to calculate the change from week 1 to 2.
“The result of this is very volatile, as vessels can slide back and forth between weeks,” said Alan Murphy, CEO, Sea-Intelligence.
Increased blank sailings between Asia-North Europe
Sea-Intelligence noted that based on the result, there is an increasing trend in Asia-North Europe, indicating that carriers are “increasing their blanking activity” on the trade lane.
“While the number itself appears relatively low, we need to keep in mind that the baseline number of regularly scheduled services per week is currently 19,” Murphy said.
“When we perform the same analysis on Asia-Mediterranean, we see quite the opposite. There was an increasing trend in March 2022, which reversed in the following weeks, and now there is a behaviour towards no additional blanking activity,” he added, noting that this is perhaps the reason why the rate levels have held up more firmly on Asia-Mediterranean than on Asia-North Europe.
“On Asia-North America West Coast, we see a spike in the early part of the year due to Chinese New Year, but in recent weeks, changes made by the carriers on a weekly basis have remained rather stable,” the Sea-Intel chief further said.
Meanwhile, Murphy noted that Sea-Intel saw a similar case on Asia-North America East Coast, “with the only difference that the spike came a little later than on Asia-North America West Coast.”
“Given what we see on Asia-North Europe, it is perhaps indicative of carriers’ concerns about vessel utilization on that trade lane,” he added.