Issued on 23 Jul 20
Transpacific capacity is nearing pre-COVID-19 levels Despite the COVID-19 crisis, average weekly vessel capacity in the Transpacific trade is expected to reach a level in July, that is roughly similar to one year ago. On the second major East West route, the trade from Asia to Europe, weekly vessel capacity is however still down 17%, compared to mid-2019. Weekly capacity from the Far East to North America stood at almost 436,300 teu on 1 June, which was 24,300 teu or 5.3% lower than on 1 June 2019 (based on usable teu). The resumption of the 2M Asia - USWC ‘TP-8 / Orient’ service as from 8 June, the launch of the Shenzhen - Los Angeles ‘Zim eCommerce Xpress’ (ZEX) service on 23 June, and the start of a new China - California service by Maersk and MSC on 6 July (See page 14) will add some 23,000 teu of weekly capacity to the trade. Capacity between the Far East and North America could even increase further this summer if 2M and THE Alliance resume in August two Asia - USEC services that the carrier alliances suspended from April until the end of July. The fact that THE Alliance is reinstating several sailings that were previously blanked, is a further sign that cargo demand is recovering. Evergreen and Yang Ming are also introducing 12,000 teu new buildings between Asia and the US to replace 8,500 teu tonnage. By contrast, vessel capacity in the Asia - Europe trade is still well below preCOVID-19 levels. It stood at a weekly 361,100 teu at 1 June, which is 74,300 teu or 17.1% lower than a year earlier.