Idled ocean container capacity has soared to 1.1 million TEUs with 392 ships lying at anchor as slumping cargo flows force carriers to suspend liner services.
Idled ocean container capacity has soared to 1.1 million TEUs with 392 ships lying at anchor as slumping cargo flows force carriers to suspend liner services. The jobless figure, up from 303 vessels totaling 800,000 TEUs two weeks ago, represents 8.8 percent of the world fleet, the highest recorded in container ship history. The idled fleet stood at 70 vessels of 150,000 TEUs in late October.
?This figure raises the spectre of overcapacity hanging for years, as this fleet overhang adds to the newbuildings,?.
The jobless fleet includes 19 vessels of 7,500 to 10,000 TEUs, 41 of 5,000 to 7,500 TEUs and 79 of 3,000 to 5,000 TEUs. Feederships are the hardest hit with 104 vessels of 1,000 to 2,000 TEUs without work.
More ships likely will be laid up as the rebound in Chinese exports failed to materialize after the Lunar New Year. As a result, shipments likely will fall by 15 to 20 percent in the first quarter compared with a year earlier. ?Large ships continue to gather up in Asian roads as they end their rotations on the closed services on which they were employed,?.
It said container traffic must grow at annual rate of 15 percent for three years to bring the supply-demand balance into equilibrium by January 2013.
A less optimistic but more reasonable average 10 percent annual growth would delay a return to equilibrium before 2014.
The glut of tonnage is so big that even deferring new container ship orders by 12 months will not make much difference.