Blank Sailings Expected Through Major Trade Lanes

With inventory levels high in Europe and the US, coupled with uncertainty in consumer demand, ocean carriers have canceled 100 sailings over the next five weeks.

According to Drewry, a maritime research and consulting service that provides weekly snapshots of blank sailings, the major ocean alliances have canceled sailings across major routes between Asia, North America and Europe.

Canceled sailings are also called blank sailings which happen when a carrier or alliance of carriers decides to cancel a call or skip a particular port, region or an entire leg on a scheduled route.

“These recent blank sailings are primarily driven by the current soft economic market to help control the supply of space,” said Andrew Lazaroff, senior vice president of sales at Worldwide Logistics Group. “The goal is to curb excess capacity while continuing to improve schedule reliability,” Lazaroff explained.

Out of a total of 721 scheduled sailings for this period, the blank sailings represent a 14% cancellation rate. During this period, 53% of the blank sailings will occur in the Transpacific Eastbound trade lane, 24% in Asia-North Europe and Mediterranean and 23% in the Transatlantic Westbound trade lane.

With this in mind, Worldwide Logistics Group recommends early bookings. “Advance notice of the blank sailings means we can plan ahead to help our customers control their supply chains and meet their requirements,” Lazaroff said.

For more information regarding blank sailings and how they may affect scheduling, contact your Worldwide Logistics Group representative.