Ocean carriers begin to cut North America ship capacity
Ocean carriers are beginning to cut back North America ship capacity in anticipation of a trade slowdown in 2019. The Georgia Port Authority was among the first to see the slowdown. Despite a record year in 2018, the fourth largest US port saw loaded container imports for November hitting 169,159 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU’s), the lowest level since May and an 18 percent drop from October.
Deutsche Bank equity researchers say the next few months will mark a “negative inflection in freight flows following tariff-related pull-forward, opening the door for an ‘air pocket’ in demand” during the first quarter of 2019.
Container research firm Alphaliner say CMA CGM-led OCEAN Alliance withdrew four trans-Pacific sailings from its schedule this month. Likewise, Maersk plans to switch two of its largest ships, with 17,000-teu of capacity from the trans-Pacific trade lane to the Asia-Europe route this month.