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Post Chinese New Year blank sailings expected to be worst in 7 years

Container ship at sea

According to a container shipping expert, ocean carriers are planning the most post-Chinese New Year “blank” sailings in over seven years.

A blank sailing is one where the steamship line has cancelled sailings on a particular lane for a particular week.  By decreasing capacity on a certain route, they are able to maximize capacity on their vessels.  This is not a new phenomenon – carriers do this every season around Chinese New Year. 
In addition to potentially higher prices, the reduction of capacity could also create space issues and the potential of rolled containers for many shippers.

Carriers suffered in 2019, primarily due to a downturn in U.S.-China trade, which has pushed the number of blank sailings to an all-time high.  Approximately 24 weekly sailings between Asia and the West Coast have been cancelled in the first eight weeks of 2020, and nine of the cancelled sailings are over the period of Chinese New Year (January 25-30).  The blank sailings will continue after Chinese New Year until Chinese manufacturing companies are back from holidays and back to normal operations.

For more information, contact Debbie McGuire, Manager – Freight Solutions.

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