Coronavirus costing liners up to $350m in lost revenues every week

As China partially returned to work today, data from Copenhagen-based Sea-Intelligence suggests the coronavirus has been costing liners up to $350m in lost revenues every week.

Sea-Intelligence suggests the box shortfall from the virus is up to 350,000 teu per week, getting to the $350m figure based on average rate levels of around $1,000 per teu.

Liners have upped the amount of blank sailings in recent weeks, with Sea-Intelligence noting there are a total of 21 sailings being blanked due to the coronavirus on the transpacific, taking 198,500 teu out of action. This is on top of the 61 sailings already blanked due to Chinese New Year, bringing the total number of blank sailings to 82.

For Asia-Europe 10 sailings have been blanked thanks to the virus, removing 151,500 teu from the market, bringing the total number of blank sailings to 54, across North Europe and the Mediterranean.

Another knock-on effect for global supply chains from the virus, Sea-Intelligence warned in its Sunday Spotlight report concerns back-haul shippers who will need to plan for a very likely contingency, where they will experience capacity shortages and sharply escalating freight rates, kicking in during March and April.

Last week analysts at another container shipping consultancy, Alphaliner , warned that the coronavirus will reduce container cargo volumes at Chinese ports – including Hong Kong – by over 6m teu in the first quarter of 2020. This volume contraction is expected to reduce global container throughput growth by at least 0.7% for the full year.

“The full impact of the Chinese coronavirus outbreak on container volumes will not be fully measurable until ports announce their throughput numbers for the first quarter, but data collected on weekly container vessel calls at key Chinese ports already shows a reduction of over 20% since 20 January,” Alphaliner warned in its latest weekly report, published five days ago.

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