Over-capacity builds up in transpacific container trade

Monday, July 23, 2001
The addition of substantial new vessel capacity is widening the gap between supply and demand in the transpacific container trade, according to World Liner Supply, a quarterly reporting service of the ComPairData global liner shipping database. The results of the July 2001 World Liner Supply survey show that transpacific shipping lines have expanded capacity by 9 percent between July 2000 and July 2001, despite the slowdown in trade volumes. Total trade capacity has risen to slightly over 205,000 TEUs a week (equivalent to a yearly one-way capacity of 10.7 million TEUs) this month, from about 189,000 TEUs a week (equivalent to 9.8 million TEUs). The carriers that have added the most capacity during the last 12 months are the Grand Alliance lines (Hapag-Lloyd, NYK, OOCL and P&O Nedlloyd), Maersk Sealand and the non-alliance carriers such as Zim Israel Navigation and Wan Hai. During the last 12 months, the five largest alliance and carriers groups - the New World Alliance, the Grand Alliance, the COSCO/"K" Line/Yangming alliance, the United Alliance and Maersk Sealand - further increased their share of the entire trade's capacity. The five major carrier groups now have 73 percent of the total capacity, up from 72 percent last July. These are just some of the highlights of the latest World Liner Supply reporting service, which tracks the capacity, frequency and partnership changes of all the liner carriers and their ships. "The build-up in vessel capacity and, more specifically, in over-capacity is without doubt one of the top issues faced by the liner shipping industry and its customers this year," said Hayes H. Howard, President of ComPairData. Shipping lines in the transpacific trade now offer shippers 60 joint and/or individual liner services with a total of 451 liner vessels, the latest World Liner Supply survey found. World Liner Supply's quarterly reports calculate and analyze up-to-date ship capacity of each alliance, carrier, service and trade route on the major trade lanes, taking into account frequency and multi-trade capacity allocations. They provide comprehensive details on all the vessels, their speed, capacity and trade deployment. World Liner Supply is an information service, launched in 2000 to monitor competition and overall market trends concerning ship capacity supply in liner shipping. World Liner Supply's quarterly reports are available at www.compairdata.com
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