Bleak outlook post-Chinese New Year prompts more blank voyages

22 Jan, 2023

As China begins its lunar new year celebrations this weekend, ocean carriers are desperately seeking visibility of export cargo demand for the first weeks and months of the Year of the Rabbit.

And with the short-term outlook looking bleaker by the day, 2M partners MSC and Maersk yesterday blanked a further six transpacific headhaul voyages – following those they announced on 12 January – through to the cancelled sailing of the MSC Barbara from Shanghai on 12 February.

Meanwhile, according to the latest analysis from consultant John McCown, container imports arriving at the main US west coast ports in December slumped by 19% on 2021, with the top 10 US gateways cumulatively seeing a “near record” decline for the month, of 16.5% fewer containers.

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