Deliveries of container ships are set to hit a record high in 2013, driven by a surge of orders in the past year that has revived fears of overcapacity in container shipping markets, according to shipping industry analysts Alphaliner.
Shipyards will deliver vessels with capacity exceeding 2 million 20-foot-equivalent units in 2013 if owners and carriers exercise all existing options and planned orders, according to Alphaliner.
This would be significantly higher than the record 1.57 million TEUs shipyards delivered to vessel operators in 2008.
Lured by attractive ship construction prices and the strength of last year’s market recovery, owners have ordered the equivalent of 1.6 million TEUs of new capacity since June 2010.
This outstrips deliveries of 1.4 million TEUs during the same period, according to Alphaliner.
Scheduled deliveries for 2013 have soared to 1.59 million TEUs from 380,000 TEUs a year ago and there is still some shipyard capacity available for deliveries in that year.
The surge of orders has boosted the capacity growth forecast for 2013 to 8.9 percent, rising to 11.3 percent if all options and letters of intent are exercised.
“The unrestrained ordering observed in the last 12 months could lead to more over-supply problems for the industry,” Alphaliner said.
Clarksons Research has said in a separate analysis that capacity won’t grow as much as forecast because deliveries typically have been pushed back several months from the original schedule announcements.