Copenhagen: The world’s biggest container shipping company, Maersk Line, said on Tuesday it would suspend about 10% of its Asia-Europe service to adjust to weaker demand after the peak season.
Maersk Line, a unit of Danish shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk, said the capacity adjustment was limited to the withdrawal of its AE9 service and did not entail any vessel lay-ups.
“A few weeks ago, we said that we were ready to adjust our capacity to post-peak demand levels, and that is what we are announcing today,” Lee Sissons, director of Maersk Line’s Asia-north Europe trade, said in a statement.
“We plan to reinstate the AE9 service as demand levels dictate, and we will remain flexible to changes in the market,” Sissons said.
After Chinese New Year, Maersk Line expects to remove capacity again to adjust to market demand, the company said.
SEB analyst Nikolaj Kamedula said it was positive that Maersk Line was taking steps to defend freight rates.
The AE9 eastbound service comprises the ports of Zeebrugge in Belgium, Felixstowe in Britain, Bremerhaven in Germany, Rotterdam in the Netherlands, Le Havre in France, Tangier in Morocco, Salalah in Oman, Colombo in Sri Lanka, Port Klang in Malaysia, Singapore, and Leam Chabang in Thailand.
The AE9 westbound comprises Leam Chabang, Tanjung Pelepas in Malaysia, Port Klang, Colombo, Zeebrugge, Felixstowe, Bremerhaven, Rotterdam and Le Havre.
A.P. Moller-Maersk shares erased a 1% gain to trade virtually flat at 45,990 crowns by 1222 GMT.