MAERSK’s and the Mediterranean Shipping Co’s (MSC) 2M Alliance plans to suspend one of its loops on the Asia-North Europe trade in September, but resume it in December when business picks up, reports American Shipper.

It is not unusual for container carriers to cut capacity on the Asia-Europe trade in preparation for the slowdown in volumes that follows the summer peak season.

In a statement 2M said. “MSC plans to suspend one of its Asia-Europe services during this period, with a view to restoring the service, provided that market demand recovers towards the end of the year.”

Hapag-Lloyd already announced that the 17 August sailing of THE Alliance’s Far East-Europe Loop 1 service will be cancelled, as the ship – the 9,000 teu NYK Vesta – is scheduled to be removed from service as part of the grouping’s vessel maintenance scheme.

Our operations teams monitor these emerging developments closely to ensure that NGL cargo is not affected.

Of the three major ocean carrier alliances, the 2M Alliance has the strongest presence on the Asia-to-North Europe trade, operating six loops with 68 vessels totalling 1.21 million TEU. 

The OCEAN Alliance follows closely behind, operating six services from Asia to North Europe of 65 vessels totalling 1.04 million TEU. THE Alliance only operates five loops from Asia to North Europe with 52 vessels of 712,853 TEU.