The end of March will see carriers implement significant changes to their networks, which will result in longer average transit times between Asia and North Europe.
The average transit time from Asia to northern European ports has increased by over 30% since 2007. The cause of the rises is down to carriers reducing speeds to avoid rising bunker costs and also the use of ever-larger vessels that require longer port calls en route to work the ships. Since 2007, the average vessel capacity has more than doubled and now holds 15,000 TEU.
It is thought that the latest changes will see the average transit time rise to a record high. According to Lloydslist, 2M carriers Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Co would extend two of their Asia-northern Europe services to 13 weeks. This would make the AE-5/Albatross and AE-10/Silk services the longest strings on the Asia-northern Europe trade.
THE Alliance has also stretched the rotation of its FE5 from nine weeks to 10, while HMM has extended its standalone AEX service from 10 to 11 weeks.
The Ocean Alliance, however, is shortening the rotation of its NEU3 service from 11 weeks to 10, by removing calls at Ningbo and Shanghai. A new service covering those two ports will also run over ten weeks.
The changes will also see an additional 300,000 TEU added, increasing current capacity by 8.3% as carriers increase capacity between Asia and Northern Europe. Ocean Alliance partners are increasing capacity by 22%. The Alliance are increasing by 5%, and it is anticipated that HMM will increase the capacity of its AEX service by nearly a quarter as it replaces its current fleet to 6,300-6,800 vessels. 2M however, is reducing its capacity by 5% by using smaller units on three loops.
For more information on Asia – Europe transit times, please contact your local John Good Logistics team.