LONDON: An abundance of new service launches will help employ container ship newbuildings and give a further boost to the charter market in April.
Alphaliner informed that over the next six weeks more than 60 vessels with a total capacity of 360,000 TEU will be needed to populate the new loops.
The most significant additions will be on the Far East – West Coast South America and Far East – Caribbean routes, where next month’s complete revamp of the existing carrier partnerships will see the launch of eleven new strings that will replace the current service pattern on nine weekly loops.
A total of 115 ships with a combined capacity of 965,000 TEU will be deployed on the route from April, compared to a fleet of 95 ships, or 780,000 TEU, used today.
The 20 additional ships to be deployed on the Far East – WCSA and Far East – Caribbean routes will comprise 6,000 – 13,000 TEU units, with an average capacity of 9,000 TEU.
The 24% increase in the overall capacity on the trade will include additional capacity to Mexico as well as the Caribbean, with a new Maersk – Hamburg Süd service dedicated to Mexico, as well as another new service that will connect the Far East to the Caribbean via a wayport call at Buenaventura, Alphaliner said.
However, Maersk’s overall share on this trade will be eroded as all of its main competitors will be adding new capacity on the route. Hapag-Lloyd, MSC and ONE are forming a new VSA partnership together with HMM, while CMA CGM, COSCO and Evergreen have established a separate VSA with Wan Hai, PIL and Yang Ming.