The number of laid-up container ships reached 255 vessels by mid-January as the global economic downturn forces carriers to continue to retrench.
The number of laid-up container ships reached 255 vessels by mid-January as the global economic downturn forces carriers to continue to retrench. The idle ships have a capacity of 675,000 TEUs. That represents 5.5 percent of the world container shipping fleet by capacity, according to AXS-Alphaliner, a Paris-based consultant. The mid-January totals were up from 210 ships of 550,000 TEUs in early January. The idled fleet has more than quadrupled since Oct. 25 when 70 ships of 150,000 TEUs were lying at anchor. Alphaliner expects the figure to reach 750,000 TEUs in early February as the most recently announced closures of services take effect. These include CSAV"s Asia-North Europe service, one of MOL-?K? Line"s Far East-west coast South America loops, and MOL"s Far East-South Africa service.
Charter market vessels account for 148 of the laid-up ships. The idle vessels include nine ships with capacity ranging from 7,500 to 10,000 TEUs and 33 in the 5,000- to 7,500-TEU range. The feeder ship sector is the hardest-hit with 75 vessels in the 1,000- to 2,000-TEU range.
The situation will only get worse for the carriers as deliveries of new ships will swell the world fleet about 14 percent this year.