Deliveries of new container ships will hit a record monthly high of 200,000 20-foot equivalent units in July, extending a year long influx of capacity that may stall the recent rise in ocean freight rates, a leading analyst said.
The previous record was set in April 2008 when deliveries totaled 156,000 TEUs, according to Alphaliner, the Paris-based container shipping research consultancy.
The surge in new vessels hitting the market in July follows on deliveries totaling 747,000 TEUs in the first half of the year.
By The Numbers: Container Rate Benchmark.
This will take deliveries for the first seven months to 950,000 TEUs, or 7.3 percent of the current fleet, according to Alphaliner figures.
The new deliveries include a number of ships which had already been completed in 2009, but were mothballed at shipyards.
Alphaliner estimates deliveries will reach 1.45 million TEUs in 2010, with slippage and cancellations limited to only a small part of the container ship order book.
This represents 11.1 percent of the world fleet at the beginning of January 2010.
The record July deliveries will include at least eight vessels of over 10,000 TEUs, compared to only seven similar sized ships delivered in the first six months of the year.
The high rate of deliveries will continue through the summer with 12 more ships of over 10,000 TEUs scheduled to be handed over to ocean carriers in August and September.
Four carriers account for the dozen large vessels coming on stream in the next two months — CMA CGM of France, Maersk Line, Geneva-based MSC and Israel’s Zim Integrated Container Services, which will charter one of the vessels to Taiwan’s Evergreen.
These deliveries bring the average size of new ships delivered in July to more than 6,000 TEUs. This compares with an average size of only 3,700 TEUs in the previous record month of April 2008.
The active capacity of the world fleet will have increased by 16 percent in the January-July period as the high level of deliveries is bloated by the reactivation of 1.2 million TEUs of idle tonnage.
The idled fleet has fallen to just 2 percent of total capacity, down from a record 11.7 percent in late 2009.
For the full year, Alphaliner expects capacity to increase by 9.6 percent.
-- Contact Bruce Barnard at email@example.com.