Reports
WLS: Carriers cut capacity on most major trades in Q4
However, carriers managed to increase capacity on the North Europe to North America trade between Q3 and Q4 of 2019.
By BlueWater Reporting on Jan 01, 2020 18:01

   Container shipping companies trimmed back allocated capacity on trades from Asia to North Europe, the Mediterranean and North America between Q3 and Q4 of 2019, representing the winding down of peak season.
   However, on the North Europe to North America trade, they managed to modestly increase allocated capacity between the two quarters, as illustrated by data from BlueWater Reporting’s Q4 2019 World Liner Supply (WLS) Report.
   For this report, North American regions only include the U.S. and Canada. The East Coast of North America also includes the U.S. Gulf Coast. Additionally, Q3 and Q4 figures were taken from the end of each quarter.

 The Q4 2019 WLS Report includes information on: 
     • Estimated weekly allocated TEUs on 30 individual lanes operating between Europe, Asia, North America and South America, as well as changes from the prior quarter;
     • Alliance market share data on major east-west trades and changes from the prior quarter;
     • Liner shipping services that have been added and discontinued during the quarter;
     • A breakdown of specific liner services offered on individual trades;
     • Vessel information;
     • And more!

   The report, comprised completely of data, takes skipped sailings and slow steaming into account. It is designed to help ocean carriers, non-vessel-operating common carriers, freight forwarders, shippers, ports and analysts monitor trends in ocean liner shipping capacity.

   The chart below, built using a portion of the data on just four of the 30 trade routes included in the report, shows that between Q3 and Q4:
     • From Asia to the West Coast of North America (WCNA), weekly allocated capacity fell 1.6%, from 281,668 TEUs to 277,101 TEUs;
     • From Asia to the East Coast of North America (ECNA), weekly allocated capacity fell 4.8%, from 150,811 TEUs to 143,515 TEUs;
     • From Asia to North Europe, weekly allocated capacity fell 4.4%, from 232,186 TEUs to 221,992 TEUs;
     • From Asia to the Mediterranean, weekly allocated capacity fell 5.2%, from 157,036 TEUs to 148,801 TEUs;
     • Although from North Europe to North America, weekly allocated capacity rose 2.6%, from 77,800 TEUs to 79,810 TEUs.

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   Between Q3 and Q4, the number of liner services, as well as container shipping services specifically, did not change significantly on any of these five trade lanes, as illustrated in the table below, which was built using data from the WLS Report.

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   Although there were not huge changes in the number of services on any of these five trades between the two quarters, BlueWater Reporting’s Blanked Sailings Report showed that carriers blanked substantially more sailings on trades from China to North America, North Europe and the Mediterranean throughout Q4 than they did throughout Q3, which led to the reduced capacity on trades from Asia in general to these regions. However, on the North Europe to North America trade, less capacity was withdrawn from blanked sailings in Q4 than in the prior quarter, as illustrated in the chart below, which was built using data from BlueWater Reporting’s Blanked Sailings Report.

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   The general increase in blanked sailings between Q3 and Q4 was not unusual, being that peak season tends to wind down in Q4. Additionally, carriers also blank various sailings out of China in early October each year as a result of China’s National Day holiday on Oct. 1, when the founding of China is celebrated. China’s National Day holiday results in blanked sailings from China for roughly two weeks after Oct. 1
   In terms of carrier alliance market share, alliances managed to further monopolize major east-west trades in Q4 compared to the prior quarter, as illustrated in the table below, which was built using data from the WLS Report. 

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   The actual report shows a breakdown of how much market share each individual alliance holds on these trade lanes and is downloadable in an Excel spreadsheet form here