Asia-Europe Shipping Services Face Ship Shortage Challenges

Despite the increase in container ship capacity, Asia-Europe services face a 10% shortage of ships, impacting weekly service frequency. The Red Sea crisis and diversions around the Cape of Good Hope have led to a need for more ships, particularly in the Ocean Alliance. This has resulted in shifts in capacity and service routes.
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Despite the influx of new container ships in recent months, Asia-Europe services are facing a shortage of ships, with around 10% fewer vessels than needed, according to a study by Alphaliner. The Red Sea crisis and ship diversions around the Cape of Good Hope have increased the number of ships required to maintain weekly service frequency from 321 to 376, but only 340 ships are currently in operation.

The capacity constraints are most pronounced for the Ocean Alliance, with members like CMA CGM and Cosco struggling to find enough vessels. The shift in capacity has resulted in some services from Asia to Northern Europe bypassing Mediterranean ports, causing disruptions in the fleet deployment for various alliances.

In contrast, 2M and THE Alliance seem to be faring better, with MSC and Maersk needing only eight additional ships to complete their joint services. Alphaliner’s analysis points to ongoing challenges in vessel availability and deployment strategies for major shipping companies on the Asia-Europe trade route.

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