The two lines also said they were “considering further capacity reduction on this service, depending on market demand and supply situation”.
The lines said: “Among 13 voyages scheduled from October to December, the companies have decided to skip three, which is a 23% capacity reduction in total. In fact, one of three blank sailings has already been arranged on week 41 and the remaining, on week 44 and 49.”
Meanwhile, Hanjin, a member of the CKYH Green Alliance has also reduced its Asia-North Europe routes from nine to eight loops, with an overall capacity cut of 13%, as part of its winter program.
Maersk Line has cut its capacity on the Asia-Europe trade this year by 21%, with softening demand leading to the most recent announcement of one string being terminated and another suspended until early December.
“We expect a 3% slump on the Asia-Europe container trades for 2012, so there is currently no need for the number of ships sailing,” said chief trade and marketing officer Vincent Clerc.
Clerc said the latest decision – designed to cover weaknesses in the trade over October’s Golden Week holiday in China – would reduce Maersk’s slot supply by another 12% or so.
“They bring our total capacity reduction in 2012 on the Asia-Europe network to 21%,” he said.