Weak US demand is forcing container shipping companies to search for new homes for their 13,000 TEU vessels, according to Alphaliner.
Displaced by even larger tonnage on their current services, many such ships were originally earmarked for re-deployment to transpacific Asia – US routes.
Meanwhile however, several carriers have decided to downscale their transpacific capacity provision in June.
Already in May, the French shipping major CMA CGM had abandoned plans to deploy 17,800 TEU ultra-large container ships (ULCS) on the Asia – USWC route.
Numerous 13,000 TEU-class vessels are gradually being phased out of the Far East-Europe trade, where they are displaced by 19,000 TEU newbuildings, Alphaliner said.
“Some of the ships have since joined the transpacific trade, while others are successively re-assigned to the North-South trades, as carriers being to explore alternative employment options for such tonnage,” Alphaliner added.
June has already seen Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) assign two 12,552 TEU vessels to its standalone Asia South Africa – West Africa ‘Africa Express’ service and the carrier furthermore intends to shift several 13,000 TEU ships to both this ‘Africa Express’ and to the Far East – WCSA ‘Andes Express’ in the coming weeks.
These ships are freed and cascaded down as ever-larger newbuildings enter the top-tier trades: The 19,224 teu MSC JADE joined at the end of May the 2M’s Far East-Europe ‘AE-2/Swan’ loop and MSC will soon receive the 19,224 teu MSC DITTE and the 19,154 teu sisters MSC DIANA and MSC INGY. The three jumbo ships will all join the ‘AE 2/Swan’ service before the end of July. Deliveries of these units trigger a cascading effect within the MSC fleet.