Transpacific: Some services blanked more?
In issue 526 of the Sunday Spotlight, we looked at the number of blank sailings per service on an alliance level across the Transpacific, to see if certain services were blanked more than others. The purpose of the analysis is to see whether, in all this turmoil, there were significant differences in blank sailings across alliance services. As not all services have been in operation for the same amount of time, we introduced a new measure called ATBBS (average time between blank sailings) which is calculated in weeks. This measure gives us a degree of comparability across services within each alliance.
Figure 1 shows the ATBBS for each alliance service on Asia-NAWC from Jan 2020 to Sep 2021 (94 weeks in total). Each ATBBS figure shows the average number of weeks between each blank sailing. For 2M, the differences between the upper and lower end are not that much. TP6/Eagle had the highest ATBBS, being blanked once every 13 weeks, while TP1/Maple and the TP8/Orient have the lowest ATBBS. Ocean Alliance’s NWX has a significantly lower level of blank sailings disruption, being blanked once every 31 weeks on average. CPNW, GEX, and PRX are the most blanked Ocean Alliance services, being blanked once every 5-6 weeks. We see a similar trend for THE Alliance, with PS8 a clear outlier, blanking a sailing every 41 weeks on average. PN4, PN3, and PS5 were the most blanked THE Alliance services with a blank sailing every 3-4 weeks.
One trend seen in our analysis was that services most disrupted by blank sailings in 2020-2021, were also inherently more prone to blank sailings historically. This strongly suggests that carriers have a clear preference to blank sailing on specific services, irrespective if the cause of such blanking is a need to balance supply/demand, or if it is due to the current levels of port congestion. Currently, there is not enough capacity to match demand, and THE Alliance’s PS8 service, for example, which is one of the most undisrupted services, calls Long Beach, which has reported massive congestion as of late. So no matter the circumstance, carriers do seem to prefer to blank sailings on particular services.
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All quotes can be attributed to: Alan Murphy, CEO, Sea-Intelligence.
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