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Box ships on a ‘go-slow’ to absorb surplus capacity

With a comprehensive network of international container shipping services, including LCL and FCL import and export operations, the U-Freight Group notes media reports, which indicate that market pressure and running costs are prompting ocean carriers to resort to one of the oldest tricks in the liner manual – slow steaming.Shipping brokerage and container data portal, Clarksons Research, has indicated that the first quarter of 2023 saw some of the slowest sailing speeds on record for container vessels serving primary trade lanes.Ordinarily, box ships will decrease their speed from an average of at least 20 knots to as low as 12 knots.The Baltic and International Maritime Council, Bimco, has also said that vessels are expected to go even slower.Whereas vessels were recorded in the first quarter to average about 13.8 knots, Bimco said ships could decrease speed by another 10%, or 1.38 knots of the current average.Data aggregator Alphaliner, said lines were slow-steaming to absorb surplus capacity adding that if you look back to the most immediate post-Covid liner trade assessment, slow-steaming has been a trend of late.The media reports indicate that since recovery from coronavirus lockdown measures picked up momentum worldwide, carriers have in general sailed at at least one knot less than the general steaming average, which may not sound like much, but from a 16.5-knot global average, that is about 6% slower, meaning you need more tonnage to carry the same cargo volume.”You can find more information about the U-Freight Group’s ocean freight services by visiting the relevant pages of this website or speaking to your usual contact in our company.