Blank Sailings Will Rise During China’s Coming Holiday

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With China’s Golden Week holiday on the horizon, Container xChange predicts blank sailing rates will jump to 16% during weeks 38 to 42 of this year, specifically on trade routes from Asia to Northern Europe as well as the Mediterranean.

The trend of blank sailing — when ocean carriers skip a drop-off in the middle of a fixed schedule — will continue to fluctuate throughout the remainder of the year, increasing in the coming weeks after experiencing a recent decline.

According to data for Container xChange, blank sailings peaked at 21% early on during the first few weeks of 2023, then remained low for the remainder of the year, falling to 4% during weeks 25 to 29, before jumping again to 7% during weeks 36 through 40.

Container xChange believes that ocean carriers will continue taking a cautious approach to shipping throughout the remainder of 2023.

“The continuous expansion of shipping capacity, driven by the introduction of new mega-vessels, is outstripping the existing demand, leading to considerable strain on already oversupplied trade lanes,” Container xChange said in its findings published September 20.


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