What about this year's golden week?
With the golden week, China’s national holiday, just five weeks away, carriers are grappling with blank sailings amid a drop in demand.
Unlike previous years, carriers have not announced significant capacity reductions for the Transpacific route during this period. Scheduled capacity reduction is only 3.0%, far less than the 12.4% reduction in 2019 and the 2017-2019 average of 10.0%.
Individual figures reveal 3.7% on Asia-North America West Coast and 2.2% on Asia-North America East Coast. To match pre-pandemic levels, 10-13 additional sailings need blanking on Transpacific and 6-10 on Asia-Europe.
Time is running short, and any further blank sailings could affect shippers' plans and fuel existing discontent over rates and vessel allocation. Amid tepid peak season demand, carriers may need more extensive blank sailings, adding pressure to the strategy in October 2023. (pb)