151029 CHINA SHIPPING vessel at Cai Mep

Declining freight volumes and reconfigured container vessel deployments may give Asia’s ports time to regroup, say industry analysts, who add that investment in infrastructure is badly needed.

According to this report by Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor of Logistics Management, when Maersk Line – the world’s largest ocean cargo container company – announced last month that it would stop services to and from 10 ports in China, shipping experts reckoned that it was primarily a move to reduce costs.

Earlier this summer, weak market conditions in the Far East – North America transpacific trade had claimed its first casualty as the French shipping company CMA CGM, Germany-based Hamburg Süd and United Arab Shipping Company decided to withdraw their joint Far East service. According to the Paris-based consultancy, Alphaliner, this move alone would reduce total weekly capacity on the Asia to North America corridor to 429,000 teu by September, marking a decline of 4% from the corresponding period of last year.