Blanking is biting

The vast numbers of blanked sailings, in response to dwindling demand caused by the pandemic, on the Asia to Europe trade lane is three times greater than normal and means that calls to UK ports are down 30%.

Despite the increasing numbers of cancelled sailings, the impact for Metro’s customers has been minimal so far, as our sea freight team leveraged volume contracts and shipping line relationships to get cargo lifted.

The Asia-Europe trade lane hosts the majority of the world’s Ultra-Large Container Vessels (ULCV) and their blanking takes massive volumes out of the market instantly.

Last week saw three vessels taking 46k TEUs out of the market, a volume reduction of 15%.

A challenge, but our team overcame.

This week nine vessels have been withdrawn. 147k TEUs, equivalent to 49% of the market, gone.

An unprecedented cut in capacity which, even though we’ve done everything possible to mitigate, will inevitably impact us and result in rollings, because there just isn’t any space.

We work closely with all our customers, to keep them informed and up to date with developments, that can change rapidly. With lines unexpectedly cutting allocations, rejecting bookings and rolling without warning if they have over-booked the vessel.

With volumes effectively halved, we have been briefing customers on the service issues we are anticipating this week, and the challenging fortnight that will follow, before we see the market settle once more.