Ocean carriers forced to make difficult choices as there are not enough container ships to fully staff all regular liner services.
14 deep sea liner services are currently missing 50 percent (or more) of the number of ships required to guarantee a fixed weekly sailing frequency.
5 loops even miss all of their ships and could be called ‘temporarily suspended’. Carriers provide alternatives by adding extra ad hoc calls on other loops or deploying numerous ships with flexible routings. This increased flexibility is at the expense of regularity.
Alphaliner currently counts 28 x 1.1K–14K teu ships in off-schedule voyages between Far East and US West Coast, for a total capacity of 117,500 teu.
Another 24 units of 1.7K–11.9K teu (152,600 teu) are active as ’extra sailers’ between Far East and US East Coast.
Biggest ‘ghost’ service without a ship assigned is the OCEAN Alliance Far East–Middle East MEA3 service of CMA CGM (branded as CIMEX5), COSCO Shipping Lines (MEX2), OOCL (ME3) and Evergreen (CEO). The 17.3K teu APL RAFFLES completed a round voyage for this loop in April.