According to a report in the JOC.com news platform, container carrier members of the Ocean Alliance are shifting post-Panamax ships from the trans-Pacific and Asia–Europe trades to the trans-Atlantic, as global demand for Asian exports weakens. Although adding capacity will put downward pressure on rates, increasing trade between the US and Europe should buoy the trans-Atlantic market.
Ocean Alliance’s “Liberty Bridge” service from Europe to the US has gone from a Panamax-size service of 8,500 TEU to a post-Panamax service of about 12,000 TEU with new ships being rotated into the service.
In December, CMA CGM will replace two Panamax ships with two 11,388 TEU ships, the Columbia and Cassiopeia (per photo), according to the ocean carrier’s latest schedule
The Columbia was in the Asia–Mediterranean trade lane as of its last departure from China in mid-August, according to Sea-Web, a sister product of JOC.com within S&P Global. In the interim, it was deployed between the Mediterranean and Brazil, Sea-Web data show. The Cassiopeia had been operating in the Asia–US West Coast trade until its late September departure from Singapore to the US East Coast.
Likewise, Evergreen Marine will rotate the 13,808 TEU Tampa Triumph into Liberty Bridge as of an early January departure from the United Kingdom, making it the largest vessel deployed in the Europe–US East Coast trade, reported Alphaliner. The ship, which made its last departure from China’s Yantian port in early November, will replace the 8,542 TEU Ever Lucky.
Cosco Shipping, as well, rotated in three ships of approximately 13,000 TEU capacity into the Liberty Bridge service over October and November, just after they last departed Asia. The ships replace 8,500 TEU capacity vessels that Cosco had deployed.
Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd, told JOC.com in a recent interview that macroeconomic factors are buoying the trans-Atlantic trade. The euro is trading at close to the US dollar, a level not seen since 2002, which favors European exporters, Habben Jansen said. In addition, diversification of sourcing away from China is boosting demand for good from countries such as Turkey and India that are transshipped through Europe. Photo: Cargos-paquebots.net