Non-alliance shares double on Transpacific
In issue 549 of the Sunday Spotlight, we used data from the Trade Capacity Outlook database and took a closer look at the dynamics between the alliance-controlled and non-alliance services, in order to see whether the disruptive market of 2021 has led to material changes.
Figure 1 shows the 13-week rolling average of the share of total Asia-North America West Coast capacity that is under the control of alliances versus non-alliance services.
There are three key elements here. The first is the relatively stable share in 2012-2020 with a rough 15-20% / 80-85% split between non-alliances and alliances, despite the changes in alliance and VSA constellations over this 8-year period. The second element is the sharp decrease in non-alliance capacity in the first part of 2020. Clearly, the immediate impact of the pandemic was that non-alliance services were much more likely to be blanked than alliance services. The third element is the development seen over the past 18 months, where there has been a very substantial increase in the share of capacity offered outside the alliances. Presently, we are now at a point where 35% of the capacity offered is on non-alliance services.
Asia-North America East Coast, which was fully served by alliance services in 2019-2021, saw an increase in non-alliance services from the second half of 2020 to a point where 10% of the capacity in the market is currently serviced by non-alliance services.
The development on Asia-Europe is starkly different than on Asia-North America. The market on this trade is nearly fully serviced by alliances. The recent market disruption has done little to change this situation. A few non-alliance services have been seen; however, the number of such sailings and the small size of the vessels being used, means that this has an overall insignificant effect on the total capacity in the market.
What this development implies is that the barriers of entry on the Asia-North America trades are much lower than on the Asia-Europe trades.
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All quotes can be attributed to: Alan Murphy, CEO, Sea-Intelligence.
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