FAQ: What is Blank Sailing and Why Does it Occur?

2023-03-01T20:04:05+00:00December 30th, 2020|FAQs, Freight Talk|

A Blank Sailing, sometimes referred to as Void Sailing, happens when an ocean line service operator decides to cancel a call or skip a particular port, region, or possibly an entire leg on the scheduled route.

Why would an ocean carrier have a vessel skip part of the scheduled route?

There are several reasons why blank sailings occur, and upholding schedule integrity is one of the more common reasons. A liner service follows a constant route on a fixed schedule, meaning it must complete the full rotation within a set time frame. If inclement weather causes delays, or if port congestion limits availability of vessel berth and unload cargo, it can become difficult for a ship to reach every port on the route while adhering to the agreed-upon schedule. In these instances, the steamship line will announce a blank sailing and skip which ever portion of the route is necessary to make up for any delays.

Other incidents which may lead to blank sailings include port closers or major delays caused by strikes, and vessel issues which require repairs that can only be done at particular locations.

Intentional, planned blank sailings are used to control demand based on capacity and market conditions.

You will find this term in Green’s latest China | U.S. Market Update.

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