Deliveries of new container ships are set to surge over the next three months, contributing to a near 10 percent growth in the global fleet in 2010.
Shipyards will deliver vessels with a combined capacity of 430,000 20-foot equivalent units in the second quarter compared with 70 new ships of 307,000 TEUs in the opening three months of the year, according to Alphaliner, a Paris-based analyst.
This rate of delivery is significantly higher than the second half of 2009 when an average of 228,000 TEUs of capacity per quarter were handed over to ocean carriers and charter ship owners.
In April alone deliveries are set to reach 150,000 TEUs, the highest monthly level recorded since mid-2008.
“The new vessel deliveries are expected to contribute to a net fleet growth of 9.6 percent in 2010 after taking into account expected scrapping and slippage,” Alphaliner said.
The increased deliveries will be absorbed by the recovery in global demand and the start of the summer peak shipping season as well as slow steaming.
The main driver for demand in the second quarter was the launch of several new loops which absorbed new ships as well as idle tonnage which has now fallen below 9 percent of the world fleet, Alphaliner said.
Sixteen ships of over 5,000 TEUs each, all to be delivered in April, have already received service assignments, including two 14,000-TEU vessels due to join Mediterranean Shipping Co.
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