Idle boxship capacity could hit 2m teu by the end of the year, or the start of 2010, according to forecasts from Alphaliner.
IDLE boxship capacity could hit 2m teu by the end of the year, or the start of 2010, according to forecasts from Alphaliner.
Alphaliner said the number of idle containerships has fallen to 1.2m teu as of July 10 from a peak of 1.42m teu earlier in the year, however a glut of newbuildings to be delivered in the coming months are expected to push the number of idle vessels sharply higher later in the year.
?The current reduction in idle capacity is a result of service re-activations for the summer peak season as well as increased scrapping of older tonnage,? Alphaliner"s weekly report said.
So far this year 207,000 teu in capacity of tonnage has been scrapped.
However once the annual peak season subsides though the idle containership fleet is expected to swell by as much as two-thirds from its current level.
An additional 880,000 teu in boxship capacity is expected to be delivered in the second half of this year and 1.79m teu in 2010.
?These new additions are expected to push the idle fleet past 2m teu by the end of 2009 or early 2010, depending upon the strength of demand growth over the next 12 months,? Alphaliner said.
This would equate to 14.8% of the global containership fleet based on a current fleet capacity of 12.8m teu, plus the 880,000 teu in capacity of newbuildings, and a similar level of scrapping during the second half of the year as seen in the first six months.
The number of newbuildings delivered in the first half the year was lower than originally expected at 150 ships totaling 622,000 teu in capacity.
Alphaliner put the lower number of deliveries down to delays in delivery. However these delays were not expected to significantly affect the oversupply situation in the long run.
It was noted some vessels were handed over to owners several weeks later than expected.
It was unclear if this was due to negotiation between owners and yards or the correction of faults found during sea trials enabling owners to delay delivery and therefore the final payment on the vessel.
There were also a number of newbuildings that were reported to remain idle at the shipyard after delivery.
A shipping analyst said on the basis of anecdotal evidence as much as 100,000 teu to 200,000 teu could be taken out of the market at any one time due to these factors.
Chinese boxship builder Yangzijiang Shipbuilding has said publicly it would consider providing docking facilities for completed vessels for a period of up to six months.
Some industry executives believe the numbers of laid-up ships is higher than reported, however they were unable to quantify how much additional tonnage was idle compared to reported figures.
One industry source said boxship owners have been scouting for anchorages in Southeast Asia close to Singapore, but in locations not easily viewable from the air, to lay up newly delivered containership tonnage.