Container lines are set to cancel a record number of sailings in the run-up to Christmas, to try to shore up sliding freight rates.

Carriers are expected to halt two-thirds of sailings on transatlantic routes and more than half on the transpacific routes in the pre-Christmas period.

That compares with 38 percent on the Europe to Asia trade lane, according to data from freight tracking platform Project44.

The moves -- referred to as "blank sailing" in the industry (see glossary) -- reflect a disappointing peak season for carriers, which has been better news for exporters of seafood and other goods after two years of the global COVID-19 pandemic, during which they suffered from soaring shipping container rates, reduced shipping options and battled for space aboard vessels.