There is now more capacity in the Asia-US container shipping industry than before the pandemic. According to a report by shipping Freightwaves, data by shipping analyst Alphaliner shows space on trans-Pacific routes grew by 24 per cent between April 2021 and April 2022.
This represents 702 container ships with total capacity of 5.75 million twenty-foot equivalent units. There was similar growth – of 24.7 per cent – during the previous 12-month period.
The publication said the increase has been prompted by COVID-driven demand, which has ‘dramatically altered the trans-Pacific shipping landscape’, with new shipping services focusing on the Asia-East Coast lane (up by 28.1 per cent to April 2022) rather than Asia-West Coast lane (up 20.5 per cent).
Asia-East Coast capacity is up 28.1% compared with last April, outpacing Asia-West Coast growth of 20.5 per cent.
It added that growth in the number of operators means competition between carriers has intensified, with the main three carriers decreasing market share.
The top five trans-Pacific operators by capacity are Maersk, CMA CGM, MSC, Cosco and ONE, according to the Alphaliner data.
The Freightwaves report is available here.