While carriers are blanking sailings to mitigate the impact of low demand in the global shipping market, they have also been balancing that with the introduction of numerous new build ULCV’s this year, which has led to the postponement of some maiden voyages.

The latest is the ‘MSC Micol’, with a capacity of 24,346 teu, which was due to depart Shanghai on October 12th for its maiden voyage. However, this has now been postponed until January 2024, due to low demand and the current blank sailing programme.

While the delaying of an inaugural journey is a big decision, the vessel may otherwise have arrived in Rotterdam, to the fanfare of a maiden call, less than half full and that would not be a good look for MSC.

Between the current 2M partnership of MSC and Maersk, who have already both confirmed they will be going their own way soon, a further 29 blank sailings have been announced. These are during and following China’s Golden Week commencing September 29th, and are due to low forecasts in demand.

Meanwhile, this year’s vast introduction of newly built ships has continued in recent months, with 180,000 teu added in August. This follows the 200,000 teu added in July and the record 300,000 teu added in June.

If you have any questions regarding the above, then Westbound are here to help. So, please do not hesitate to contact us.