One-third of all container ships under construction or on order will be delivered late after shipowners and ocean carriers persuaded shipyards to defer deliveries.
Owners, carriers bid to cut growing glut of capacity
One-third of all container ships under construction or on order will be delivered late after shipowners and ocean carriers persuaded shipyards to defer deliveries amid a growing glut of capacity.
Ships of more than 4,000-TEU capacity account for the bulk of the deferrals, and the average delay is eight months, according to Alphaliner, the Paris-based consultant.
Deferred deliveries and slippage total 1.8 million TEUs, of which 168 vessels of more than 4,000-TEU capacity account for 1.6 million TEUs.
In some extreme cases, delivery has been extended by up to two years.
Further delivery delays are expected as many of the deferrals are negotiated privately between owners and the shipyards and some negotiations are still ongoing while the outcomes are usually not publicly disclosed.
Shipowners have been less successful in getting shipyards to cancel orders with only 170,000 TEUs of contracts terminated, including 150,000 TEUs since the market slump began in October 2008.
The deferrals, slippage and cancellations have already pushed at least 340,000 TEUs of new ships originally due for delivery in 2009 into subsequent years. Net deferrals are lower in 2010 and 2011.
Danaos, one of the biggest container ship charter owners, said last week that it had postponed the delivery of five 6,500-TEU vessels, due to be delivered by a South Korean yard in the second half of 2009, by two to six months. The NYSE-listed Greek owner has now delayed the delivery of 25 of the 28 ships it has on order.
There have been no new contracts for container ships since September 2008, the first time no orders have been placed for three consecutive quarters since deals were first recorded in 1965.