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PUBLISHER: The Load Star (

The cellular fleet grew by 4.5% last year, to 24.97m teu, but capacity was cut on some routes as carriers re-deployed as much tonnage as they could on the more lucrative east-west tradelanes.

According to today’s Alphaliner data, the transpacific carriers deployed a further 1.3m teu of capacity on the Asia-North America trade last year than in 2020, a huge 31% increase in slots – albeit that about half the extra capacity was required to mitigate the impact of long wait times for ships along the US west coast.

The consultant’s analysis found that the other main winner in the capacity upgrade last year was Asia-Europe, which saw an increase of 10% in slots on the route, many of which were provided by ad-hoc carriers deploying small, expensive chartered tonnage, encouraged by sky-high freight rates and ample demand.

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