Trans-Atlantic demand slump is not our experience



The trade press continue to report that trans-Atlantic demand is reduced by the pandemic and that carriers are adding to blanking programmes, while we have evidence of shipping lines refusing bookings due to lack of space.

While blanked sailings have been reinstated on the transpacific and extra sailings are now being offered from Asia to North Europe to accommodate increased cargo volume during the summer peak period, more void sailings in September have been announced for the transatlantic trade.

While the lines battle the ‘demand slump’ our commercial team are having to work harder than ever to get cargo booked onto open vessels, having to make use of alternative loading ports and feeders, when first choice services are full.

2M partners Maersk and MSC are extending the suspension of their TA4/NEUATL4 transatlantic loop to the end of September outbound from Europe, and to early October from the US.

The 2M Alliance withdrew 18.2% of capacity in July compared with the previous year, while the THE and Ocean alliances reduced by 5% and 1.6%, respectively.

Freight rates on the trans-Atlantic trade are renowned for their robustness, in contrast to the volatility often seen on the transpacific and Asia-Europe and It is clear that the lines are taking drastic action to protect them.

We continue to advise shippers to provide the biggest possible booking window, with a minimum of two weeks plus, and share our volume forecasts continuously with our liner partners, in the hope that will add more capacity. 

Air freight is also very buoyant, as there is very little passenger (PAX) belly-hold space available, due to the Trump administration’s embargo/ suspension/ banning of flights from The UK and Schengen area. 

With pure freighters and a number of ‘Preighters’ currently providing all the capacity on the trade, rates remain very strong on both east and westbound lanes.

For further information, market updates, latest schedules and much more please contact Chris Carlile or Grant Liddell for further details and we will be delighted to arrange a meeting, teams call or alternative communication to provide you with the latest market position and detail. Visibility and market intelligence are key to successful supply chains.