COVID-19 is having an impact on port calls and particularly, the issue of blank sailings, according to Ocean Insights.
Ocean Insights (OI) has counted 386 blank sailing announcements that will take place between mid-March until the end of April 2020.
Ocean carriers have responded by replacing large volume vessels with smaller volume vessels to adjust to the lower trade volumes.
This is reflected in measured Vessel Capacity (in TEU) across major carriers which is especially strong in the Asian trade lanes with a 23% detected decrease from mid-January to mid-March.
In comparison, the global decline is less acute with a 7% decrease from a peak of 16.8m TEU capacity in mid-January to a low of 15.5m TEU measured capacity.
The OI system has detected an “unusually high” number of blank sailings. To assist the supply chain community, the OI team has put together the entire blank sailing list and is providing the same free of charge. This is essential as it will enable the industry to plan their shipping requirements. The updated list is available here.