Call us on +44 (0)1784 466050

Maersk support UK shippers, while blanking US

Maersk launches feeder to help UK shippers while blanking more Asia to US east coast sailings, because of slow volume demand.

The last sailing of 2M’s AE2/Swan loop before its suspension was the Maastricht Maersk on 19 September from Qingdao, scheduled to arrive at Felixstowe on 26 October.

The suspension was originally due to commence from week 40, but was brought forward due to soft bookings and is expected to last 10 weeks, resuming on 29 November, with the sailing of MSC Isabella from Qingdao, provided that market demand recovers.

Until the AE2/Swan loop is reactivated, the 2M has added an Antwerp call to the AE10/Silk service, with Felixstowe-bound containers transhipped from the Belgian hub to the UK by feeder.

According to The Loadstar, Maersk is to offer its Asia to Felixstowe shippers a feeder alternative via its Suez Canal Container Terminal hub during the temporary suspension of its AE2 service, with the deployment of three 2,500-2,800 teu vessels on a weekly shuttle from the Port Said hub, with the first sailing set for 29 October.

In another development the 2M Alliance and shipping line Zim have announced five more blanked voyages from Asia to the US east coast this month, due to weakening demand forecasts for after the Chinese Golden Week holiday.

The last-minute decision suggests the booking outlook has significantly worsened since the carriers decided on their holiday capacity withdrawals for the tradelane a few weeks ago.

Previously, the three liner alliances had withdrawn only four Asia to US east coast loops ahead of China’s factory shutdown, but now the softer demand apparent on other routes appears to have caught up with the Asia-USEC trade, obliging carriers to take radical action to rebalance supply with demand.