While the total number of announced blank sailings have now crossed the 500-mark, there has only been an increase of 7 over the past week. We have now reached a plateau where carriers are maintaining their existing blank sailings, without the need for a large-scale increase in new blank sailings announcements, announced Sea Intelligence Consulting.
That said, absent a pandemic, carriers would still have blanked some sailings to manage seasonal demand fluctuations.
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'We can see a short period culminating in week 13 where there were no new blank sailings compared to 2019, a period between the Chinese New Year plus Coronavirus induced blank sailings, and the spread of the virus into a global pandemic,' explain from Sea Intelligence.
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This is a trend that we see across all major East/West trade lanes. Going into Q3, blanked capacity seems to taper off, indicating a return to the “normal” levels of blank sailings. That said, carriers normally only announce blank sailings 4-6 weeks prior to departure, and this could be just that.
Carriers have been particularly good at maintaining freight rates, and net of fuel, spot rates are actually up 25-40% in some trades compared to 2019. Carriers achieved this through rapid and hard capacity cuts, as we have been covering in depth for the past several weeks.