Owners are rapidly laying up containerships as the market slows. The size of the idle fleet will get bigger while rates and profits slide, says Drewry Shipping Consultants Limited.

The number of idle container vessels has gained momentum in November and has jumped 52 percent from October, Drewry said in its Container Insight Weekly. Idled ships are defined by Drewry as those which have been inactive for at least 14 days.

Idling Fleet Continues to Surge

The crisis weighs heavily on the global container freight market, which continues to be dominated by massive overcapacity, low demand and historically low freight rates.

The world’s idle containership fleet swelled to 238 vessels and topped 900,000 TEU in November as owners rapidly lay up containerships as the market slows.

The size of the idle container ship fleet swelled by 52 percent from October to November to reach 900,000 TEUs, the largest monthly sum since early 2010 following the market crash of 2009.

By mid-November, there were 31 idle ships with a capacity of 8,000 twenty-four-equivalent units or above, including the 18,000 TEU Triple-E vessel, Morten Maersk.

Alphaliner recently announced that the number of unemployed container vessels has already exceeded the magic threshold of one million teu, the highest level in five years.

The idle fleet peaked in 2009 when as much as 1.4 million TEU worth of ship capacity, then representing 11 per cent of the world fleet, was laid up. However, while the present situation does share similarities with 2009 there are more fundamental differences.

Source: lloyd.com