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CKYH to cut capacity as slack season nears

3/26/2014 9:00:13 AM

With the approach of the slack season, the CKYH Alliance, comprising Cosco, “K” Line, Yang Ming and Hanjin, has decided to suspend two services.

The alliance will suspend the MD3 pendulum service covering the Asia-Mediterranean and US West Coast trades from April/May and the AWE5 service covering the Asia-US East Coast trade in the first week of May.

The suspension of the MD3 service will effectively withdraw some 5,500 TEUs of weekly capacity from the trades. Thirteen 5,300/5,700 TEU vessels are deployed on the service with eight provided by Hanjin and five by Cosco.

Port rotation of the MD3 service is Pusan, Shanghai, Ningbo, Hong Kong, Yantian, Singapore, Port Said, Naples, Livorno, La Spezia, Port Said, Singapore, Cai Mep, Hong Kong, Xiamen, Ningbo, Long Beach, Pusan.

The last sailing westbound will be April 3 from Pusan and the last sailing eastbound from Naples will be on May 3. The last call from the US West Coast is scheduled for the second half of May.

During March, only three sailings will be operated ahead of the withdrawal of the service.

The MD3 service withdrawal comes as rates on the Asia-North Europe and Asia-Mediterranean westbound trades continue to fall. Figures provided by the Shanghai Container Freight Index show the average freight rate for the Asia-North Europe trade fell to US$888 per TEU in the second week of March, down $100 per TEU on the first week while on the Asia-Mediterranean trade, it fell to $935 per TEU westbound in the second week of March, down $98 per TEU on the previous week’s level.

The all-water Asia-US East Coast AWE5 service via the Panama Canal will make its last eastbound sailing from Xiamen on May 7. The service operates with 10 x 4,000/4,800 TEU vessels and the port rotation is Xiamen, Yantian, Ningbo, Shanghai, Pusan, Savannah, New York, Wilmington, Charleston, Pusan, Xiamen.

The AWE5, launched as part of the winter sailing programme, was the result of the merger of the AWE3 and AWE7 services by the lines back in October 2013.

In place of the suspended service, the lines intend to re-introduce their jointly operated AWE3 and AWE7 services, effectively bringing in around 4,500 TEUs more weekly capacity on the Panama Canal route and offering a more expanded port coverage on the US East Coast.

On the Asia-US East Coast route via the Suez Canal, the expanded CKYH Alliance that includes Evergreen and is known as CKYHE plans to launch a service in May called AUE8/ AWE8. The service will be launched by Cosco, Hanjin and Evergreen with Cosco and Hanjin marketing it as AWE8 and Evergreen as AUE8.

Eleven 8,500 TEU vessels will be deployed on the route with Evergreen providing five of the vessels. The port rotation has not been decided yet but New York and Norfolk will figure among the US East Coast facilities.

For Evergreen, the Suez service will replace the line’s present vessel sharing service with MOL that Evergreen markets as AUE3 and MOL, as part of the G6 Alliance, as the SVS. Evergreen provides only one vessel and MOL the other nine on this service that operates with an average weekly capacity of 6,500 TEUs.

Under the new CKYHE Alliance structure, the alliance also plans to launch a new Asia-Mediterranean-US West Coast pendulum service with 5,500 TEU vessels deployed by Evergreen.

On the Asia-US West Coast trade, the CKYH alliance will also deploy larger vessels on the HPN and YPN services covering the Pacific Northwest trade from April, and will at double-digit levels from April, as the Hanjin HPN and Yangming YPN services deploy larger vessels.

On the HPN service, operated by Hanjin, capacity will increase by up to 20 percent through April/May as 5,600 TEU vessels replace the current 4,600/4,800 TEU ships, while on the YPN service, operated by Yang Ming, capacity will also go up by 20 percent as 5,500 TEU vessels replace the 4,500 TEU ships.

HPN port coverage is Pusan, Kwangyang, Ningbo, Shanghai, Pusan, Prince Rupert, Seattle, Portland (Oregon), Vancouver, Pusan while YPN coverage is Ningbo, Shanghai, Pusan, Tacoma, Vancouver, Pusan, Ningbo.

Meanwhile, China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) is pushing ahead with a further capacity upgrade on the America/Asia Central service known as the AAC with the addition of a second 10,000+ TEU vessel this month to replace a 8,500 TEU capacity ship. In January, CSCL deployed its first 10,036 TEU vessel on the AAC. The deployment of the two vessels effectively increases weekly capacity from 8,500 TEUs at the end of 2013 to 9,020 TEUs in the space of three months.

CSCL has another six 10,036 TEU vessels on order, and four of these are due for delivery by mid-2014. CSCL will have enough vessels by June to increase AAC service capacity by 18 percent in the six months from December 13 to June 14. The AAC port rotation is Qingdao, Lianyungang, Shanghai, Ningbo, Pusan, Los Angeles, Oakland, Qingdao.


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