With the stakes raised amidst heightened risks of retaliatory Houthi attacks on ships in the Red Sea, carriers continue to take radically different approaches to their Suez services. CMA CGM and a handful of niche carriers continue to make Suez transits while all of the other main carriers have shifted to the Cape route. The capacity shortage arising from the Cape diversions on the Asia-Europe route will require an additional 70 ships with a total vessel capacity of 1m TEU to maintain weekly frequencies on the 30 regular services on the FE-North Europe and Med routes based on current revised routings.
The looming capacity shortage has propelled the SCFI to a 16 month high, with the Transpacific routes catching up with the recent Asia Europe surge as carriers pushed forth their mid-January GRIs. The CCFI recorded its highest ever weekly gain of 21.7% as it recovered most of the previous year’s retreat within a single week, ensuring windfall earnings for carriers in 1Q 2024.
Capacity shortage hits Asia-Europe trade
The Asia-Europe trade faces a severe capacity shortage in the coming weeks, with some 70 additional ships required to maintain weekly sailings on the 30 regular services on the FE-North Europe and Med routes. Apart of ships operated by CMA CGM which has continued to use the Suez route, all other ships on the services operated by the 3 main Alliances along with Zim have shifted to the Cape route, with the diversions expected to continue for at least another month.
Weekly/Monthly Market Pulse: US$1,500/US$1,800 per year