Poor cargo demand in China and falling ocean spot freight rates have led to significant changes in global container fleet deployment. More than 565,000 teu of capacity was withdrawn from the Asia – North America and Asia – Europe trades in 2022.
This process is still continuing with Hapag-Lloyd closing down its China – Germany Express service and Ellerman re-deploying ships on the more lucrative Transatlantic trade.
The active container fleet on the Transatlantic increased by an impressive 16.2% in ’22, equivalent to 162,300 additional teu slots. The biggest tonnage shift has been to Middle East & India related services (+11%), where 320,600 teu of fleet capacity was added last year.
Indian ports are now handling an increasing number of 13,000 – 15,000 teu ships which have been replaced by Megamax vessels on the East-West trades.
The growing interest in Indian traffic was reflected by the launch of a Southeast Asia – India – US East Coast service in December after the closing of a China – Vietnam – USEC loop.