UASC's structural blank sailings to counter rate plunge

UASC implements structural blank sailing program amid nosedive in Asia-Europe freight rates
UASC implements structural blank sailing program amid nosedive in Asia-Europe freight rates
UASC implements structural blank sailing program amid nosedive in Asia-Europe freight rates

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United Arab Shipping Company (UASC), the Middle East’s leading container shipping line has announced the implementation of a structural blank sailing program amid a dramatic fall in freight rates due to oversupply.

UASC is making the changes, effective from week 27 to week 38 for a total of 12 sailings, in conjunction with its Ocean 3 alliance partners China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) and CMA CGM.

UASC says the announcement is intended to provide early notice prior to implementation to help customers plan ahead, while the changes to sailings offers structural change to remove the need for costly ad hoc operational solutions and optimises UASC's network with viable alternatives across services to minimise impact on current sailing schedules for main ports.

UASC said in a release that better planning and stronger utilisation of its fleet would also support the shipping line’s provision of green shipping solutions by reducing CO2 emissions per TEU.

"For our customers, it means that we will be able to support them in better planning their shipments as we are providing transparency to our blanking program, allowing them to avoid working with costly ad hoc solutions,” said JørnHinge, president and CEO at UASC.

“At the same time, the program makes a lot of sense from an environmental point of view, which we are sure will be appreciated by a large number of our customers,” he added.

Although UASC has avoided directly addressing the nosedive in freight rates on the Asia-Europe service, this is what the new sailing program is largely due to, with UASC and its Ocean 3 alliance partners attempting to fill more of their ships by reducing the number of port calls.

Full details of the new port rotation can be found on the UASC website.

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