Increasing numbers of container ships are facing long-term unemployment amid bleak job prospects in a bearish charter market, according to Alphaliner.
Fifty-seven of the 218 currently unemployed container ships have been idle for more than six months, of which 20, with an aggregate capacity of 21,000 20-foot-equivalent units, have been jobless for more than a year, the container market analyst said.
Ocean carriers control 18 of the idled ships, while 39 belong to non-operating owners.
While some of the older vessels are likely to head for the scrap yard, numerous younger ships under the age of 15 face an uncertain future with increasingly bleak employment prospects as the NOO fleet is expected to continue growing through the end of 2012.
A large number of the long-term unemployed ships belong to financially troubled carriers, such as Bangladesh’s HRC Shipping, which currently has six units between 456 TEUs and 700 TEUs capacity idle for between one and three years.
Two 1,600-TEU vessels built in 2000-01 owned by Indonesia’s Djakarta Lloyd have been idle for the past two years. Vietnamese carrier Vinashin also has several long-term jobless ships.
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