Only 2 percent of the world’s container ships are idle, compared with 11.6 percent at the start of the year, Alphaliner reports in its weekly newsletter.
The latest tally of idle ships – 150 vessels with nominal capacity of 274,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units – is the lowest since November 2008, when plunging volumes and rates forced carriers to pull ships out of service.
Alphaliner said the number of idle ships is expected to continue to shrink during the annual August-September peak season but may rise again as new vessels continue to enter service and demand tapers off toward the end of the year.
There now are no idle ships with capacities of more than 5,000 TEUs, and only 22 idle vessels in the 3,000-5,000-TEU range. At the start of the year, the idle fleet stood at 1.5 million TEUs.
Only 34 carrier-controlled ships now are idle, down from a record high of 272 in April 2009. Among major carriers, only Maersk, Hanjin and Zim have appreciable idle tonnage, Alphaliner said.
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