The three container shipping lines in the alliance – APL, Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) – say the winter deployment programme is expected to last six weeks, although it will be extended if necessary.
“We’ll review demand and capacity again well in advance of the peak shipping season,” said APL President Eng Aik Meng. “As conditions warrant, we will re-introduce capacity.”
Amended winter deployment programmes are routine for the Alliance carriers and the Trans-Pacific Trade in general, where Asian exports slow significantly during the New Year holiday break.
Factory closures, which this year are expected to be longer than usual perhaps up to three or four weeks, sharply curb the production of finished goods, the staple of the trade for the Alliance.
Capacity will be reduced by selectively omitting sailings on the SAX, PSW, PCX and PCE services. Other services may be adjusted to ensure complete port coverage, with customers notified ahead of deployment changes.