Ocean carriers and charter shipowners have placed orders worth $57 billion for new container vessels over the next four years, with about half of the value of orders made as the industry emerged from a slump in 2009, said Alphaliner.
The carriers' and shipowners’ ordering spree of $27 billion for new container vessels prior to the collapse of Lehman Bros. added to $30 billion of contracts already in the pipeline, the container market analyst said. Of the orders for new ships through 2015, ocean carriers account for $35 billion and charter owners $22 billion.
“The carriers’ first action after emerging from the worst recession in container shipping history ever, was to order even more capacity,” Alphaliner said. “New orders were placed in an already over-supplied market.”
The capital commitment on new vessels by 19 of the largest ocean carriers exceeds $33 billion.
MOL and NYK are the only top 20 carriers without outstanding new vessel commitments on their own account. But the Japanese lines have signed charter deals for 13,000-14,000 20-foot equivalent container units newbuildings with their alliance partners “to not be left out of the expected capacity growth.”
As ships ordered in 2010 and 2011 are between 25 percent and 30 percent cheaper than vessels contracted before the crisis, their owners will benefit from a significant cost advantage to ships ordered in 2006-2008.
Maersk Line is the biggest spender with new ship commitments estimated at $6.5 billion, largely accounted for by its 20 Triple-E class 18,000 TEUs ships costing $190 million each.
The Danish carrier’s order book also includes 24 ships of 4,500-7,500 TEUs valued at $2.6 billion. Singapore-based Neptune Orient Lines/APL ranks second with orders worth close to $4 billion, followed by Taiwan’s Evergreen at a little over $3 billion.
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