Sadie Keljikian, Express Trade Capital
Q3, often the most profitable season for the Asia-Europe trade lane, has been decidedly lackluster thus far. Analysts largely attribute the decline to the recent Russian economic downturn. Merchandise for the winter holiday season typically begins to ship now as retailers and carriers alike in Europe and the US prepare for their busiest time of the year.
In anticipation of the holiday uptick and subsequent overcapacity, Asia-Europe carriers often use intentionally cancelled sailings within a journey, also referred to as void or blank sailings, to increase freight rates and avoid exceeding capacity. In other words, a carrier will cancel certain legs of a journey opting for the most direct route to its destination. Such route reductions are being applied more permanently to compensate for the significant decrease in activity this holiday season.
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