Shipping lines are blanking sailings to match supply with the lower demand ahead of the upcoming Golden Week holiday in Asia in early October, often marked by closed factories and a decline in container demand to and from the region.
Danish maritime data analysis company Sea-Intelligence noted, however, that when the firm initially looked at the 2023 Golden Week blanked capacity — two weeks ago — the carriers had not scheduled blank sailings even close to what was required to match the blanked percentages of pre-pandemic years.
"Fast forward 2 weeks to this week, and 29 additional blank sailings have been scheduled on the Transpacific, and 18 more on Asia-Europe," the Sea-Intelligence report said.
It added that scheduled capacity reductions on Asia-North America West Coast went from 3.7% to 14.1%, from 2.2% to 16.1% on Asia-North America East Coast, from 6.8% to 19.9% on Asia-North Europe, and from 7.7% to 21.0% on Asia-Mediterranean.
"This means that carriers are now on track to blank capacity in line with both 2019 and the 2017-2019 average," commented Alan Murphy, CEO of Sea-Intelligence.