Carriers have added 622,000 TEU to the Asia-Europe route, one of the world’s two largest trade lanes, over the past 12 months from July 2012 to June 2013, accounting for half of the new capacity delivered, according to maritime analyst Alphaliner.
Meanwhile, at lease 33 mega ships over 10,000 TEU were delivered at the same period for an aggregate capacity of 442,000 TEU, and most of them are deployed on Asia-Europe trade lane.
But the weak Asia-Europe trade demand has driven the carriers to remove the same amount of capacity from the trade to avoid deteriorating the overcapacity problem. As a result, smaller ships have been replaced by those mega ships and redeployed to other trade lanes, provoking a new round of ‘cascading across multiple trade lanes.
During the July 2012 – June 2013 period, transpacific route gained the largest increment of capacity with a total addition of 321,000 TEU, up 12 percent year on year. Of these, new vessels of between 3,500 and 9,200 TEU only contributed 131,000 TEU of new capacity. In other words, more than 59 percent of the additional capacity, or equivalent to 190,000 TEU, was cascaded from Asia-Europe trade lane.
Oceania- and Africa – related routes saw the largest percentage capacity increases. Oceania-related trade experienced 15.1 percent capacity increase to 89,000 TEU, and Africa-related trade saw 14.5 percent growth to 185,000 TEU.
Overall, new boxship deliveries hit 1.275 million TEU in the past 12 months.
Source: Hong Kong Shipping Gazette.