North America to Mideast capacity jumps in Q2 2018
By Jordan Williams on 2 July 2018
Despite year-over-year decreases, North America-Mideast capacity has seen a slight uptick in June of 2018. 
  Using data compiled from the BlueWater Reporting Quick Capacity Report, the chart above provides a quarterly representation of estimated allocated capacity on the North America-Mid East trade lane.
  Since the close of the second quarter of 2017, data indicates that both eastbound and westbound legs of the trade have steadily decreased in capacity. The Mideast to North America portion of the trade has shown a year-over-year decrease of 32.5 percent since Q2 2017. 
  As depicted in the chart, peak westbound capacity on the trade was seen in Q2 2017, with an estimated 2,136 weekly allocated TEUs. Currently, numbers for the Mideast to North America trade capacity continue to trend downward with data showing estimated allocated TEUs at its lowest in Q2 2018 at 1,440 TEUs, 32.6 percent below the same time last year.
  Likewise, the eastbound leg has also shown a year- over- year decrease of 30 percent, or 2,579 TEUs. Peak capacity for the North America to Mideast portion of the trade also came during Q2 2017 at an estimated 8,555 allocated TEUs per week. Q1 2018 data reveals the eastbound leg at its lowest capacity of 4,694 estimated allocated TEUs. 
  Major ocean carrier Mediterranean  Shipping Company (MSC) ceased bookings to Iran in May of this year due to concerns about U.S. withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). However, despite looming sanctions, it seems that numbers at the close of Q2 2018 for the North America to Mideast portion of the trade are up for the first time in a full year. Estimated allocated capacity for this portion of the trade jumped nearly 30 percent, or 1,282 TEUs from end of Q1 2018. 
  While there has been a slight uptick in Q2 capacity, there have been significant year-over-year decreases in both directions. As the renewed sanctions continue to play out, it remains to be seen how overall capacity on the trade will be affected.