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With most of Europe still mired in recession, or close to it, westbound Asia-Europe container volumes fell 7.8 percent year-over-year in March and are averaging 5 percent lower than in the previous two quarters, Drewry said. As result, vessel utilization in March fell to a "poor" 64 percent.
Despite carrier efforts to limit capacity, westbound Asia-Europe vessel capacity in April was virtually the same as in March because fewer sailings were canceled.
Carriers have postponed some deliveries, but they still have another 31 ships with capacities of more than 10,000 20-foot-equivalent units due for delivery later this year, including the first five of Maersk Line's 18,000-TEU ships.
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