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Carriers may be getting containership capacity crisis under control at last

Date: Thursday, May 18, 2017
Source: The Loadstar

Container shipping lines may be finally getting the vessel overcapacity crisis under control.

It was revealed today that the newbuild orderbook-to-fleet ratio is at the lowest level ever recorded. And liner analyst Alphaliner suggested it could drop further over coming months.

Despite increasing numbers of ultra-large container vessels (ULCVs) joining the world’s box shipping fleet, Alphaliner said the orderbook-to-fleet ratio was 14.1% on 1 May – meaning all new vessels due for delivery until the end of 2019 would add just 14.1% to global fleet capacity.

The previous low ratio was recorded in January 1999, at 14.6%.

Alphaliner said: “The current slump is expected to be deeper and more prolonged, as the ratio looks set to shrink even further over the coming months, with no major new orders expected to be placed until the end of the year.”

Since the beginning of last year, 106 containerships have been ordered, representing capacity of 341,000 teu. During the same period, carriers and shipowners have taken delivery of 189 vessels with a combined capacity of 1.28m teu.

The last time an order was placed for a ULCV was the final quarter of 2015, while Q1 16 was the last time any vessel larger than 13,000 teu was ordered. Since then most orders have been for feeder vessels in the sub-2,000 teu range and some for 2,000-5,100 teu ships.

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