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Carrier CMA CGM has announced that it will be “blanking”—cancelling—a total of 23 North Europe-Asia voyages from the beginning of March to 2nd June, as a result of demand slowdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.

15 eastbound sailings have been cancelled in March alone.

CMA CGM reported that capacity on its north-south services was also affected, including sailings to and from North Africa, East Africa, the Middle East, Oceania, and India.

The company said it would continue with this strategy in response to low demand, meaning that more blankings are probably on the way.

Capacity crunch as more sailings “blanked” due to coronavirus
Credit: Tom Fisk

The carrier has declared the coronavirus as a force majeur, which is an unforeseeable, unavoidable situation that releases the company from its contractual obligations.

It is applying surcharges of €50 per 20ft container and €100 per 40ft container for all affected shipments.

Last month, maritime freight analyst Sea-Intelligence estimated that the coronavirus outbreak could be costing container shipping lines $350 million a week.

Source: The Loadstar

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