The forecast slowdown in trade demand in 2019 and more new container ships due on the Asian trade, has already seen increased use of slow steaming, ship idling, blank sailings, and exhaust scrubbers to absorb additional capacity, and it is now announced that APL, will exit the Asia-Europe trade altogether.

In an effort to rationalise services and reduce costs under its CMA CGM, APL and ANL brands, the French container shipping group has announced that its subsidiary, APL, will exit the Asia-Europe trades after the summer.

CMA CGM will be the sole brand on the Ocean Alliance routes trans-Atlantic, Asia-Europe, and Asia-Mediterranean, as well as the Asia-Caribbean and Europe-India/Middle East markets.

APL will focus on the Asia-Indian sub-continent and the transpacific trade, where it has a stronger position.

The carrier claims that the changes will simplify its offer, making it more legible to its customers, with specialist companies in coherent regional groups, while reducing costs.

While CMA CGM may achieve cost savings with this move, we do not anticipate any significant impact on the Asia Europe trade, as the capacity being removed is not much more than 1-2% of overall capacity.