THERE are now just under 900 ships totalling 6.8 million TEU due to be built at yards around the world, reports Singapore's Splash 247.

According to Alphaliner the pipeline of container newbuildings is bigger than the combined existing fleets of Cosco, Hapag-Lloyd and Evergreen, the world's fourth, fifth and sixth largest liners respectively. The global reference fleet now stands at more than 25 million TEU, compared to less than half this size back in 2007, when the orderbook-to-fleet ratio peaked at 64.2 per cent.

Compared to the end of 2020, tightening yard slots, increasing steel costs and rising energy prices have pushed prices for container vessels up by 30 per cent to 35 per cent according to Alphaliner. MSC, which earlier this year surpassed Maersk at the top of the liner rankings, has the largest orderbook with more than 1.7 million TEU set to be delivered in the coming years, according to Sea-Intelligence.

MSC's orderbook alone would be the world's fifth largest carrier, on a par with Hapag-Lloyd. Boxship contracting activity was up 256 per cent in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the previous three months, according to Danish Ship Finance. In 2023 and 2024, a massive 319 and 263 new vessels will be delivered, propelling fleet growth before scrapping to 8 per cent and 6 per cent measured in TEU, respectively, Danish Ship Finance data shows."If the current high contracting activity continues, we fear that oversupply will impact the container market for a long time," a report from Danish Ship Finance published earlier this month warned.

Source : Asian Shipper News