Carriers have confirmed at least six blanked sailings will be introduced from Asia for the upcoming Chinese New Year period, which in some cases includes the cancellation of existing bookings.

The 2M Alliance, which includes Maersk and MSC, are set to blank three previously scheduled sailings in weeks 5-7, although one will be delaying a vessel until the following week and maintaining its existing bookings. Meanwhile, the Ocean Alliance are set to skip three CMA/CGM loops in the same period.

Various information from the carriers suggests that the reasons for the blanked sailings include:

– to ease challenging port congestions
– to free up these services for schedule recovery measures
– to improve schedule reliability

Opinion: There is a good argument that ports need some respite and that schedules could do with a reset after becoming extremely unreliable in recent weeks. However, carriers are still taking capacity out of the market and by blanking six sailings, that otherwise may have been helping to reduce backlogs, this will come as a major disappointment to many. If this is short term pain that helps rates and services start to turn for the better later on in February, then perhaps that dissapointment will be short lived.

While the Westbound team continue to do their best to accommodate customer’s needs, we need to remind everybody that in the current conditions, bookings for the UK or US are by no means guaranteed.

Even confirmed bookings will often experience up to 2-3 weeks delays – caused by last minute vessel changes or transit delays due to berthing slots not being available.

At Westbound Logistics we pride ourselves in offering personalised and tailored logistics solutions. To find out more please call 01375 800800​ oemail