The world container ship fleet has expanded more slowly than forecast this year but not enough to address overcapacity, according to industry analyst Alphaliner.
The fleet will grow 6.5 to 6.7 percent this year, down from Alphaliner’s initial estimate of 8.3 percent in January, as carriers have ramped up scrapping of older vessels and deferred deliveries of new ship.
In the year through mid-November, carriers and shipowners removed 164 containerships with an aggregate capacity of 285,000 20-foot-equivalent units, including 273,000 TEUs that were scrapped.
Total deletions are expected to reach 300,000 TEUs for the year, almost three times the 107,000 TEUs that exited the fleet in 2011.
The average age of ships scrapped this year is at a historic low of 24 years, with 37 vessels under 20 years sold for demolition.
This year will be the second highest for container ships leaving the fleet, following the record 381,000 TEUs in 2009, according to Alphaliner.
A total of 135,000 TEUs of orders have been rolled from 2012 to 2013.
The world fleet is expected to grow to 16.7 million TEUs by the end of 2012 from 15.4 million at the end of 2011. New vessel deliveries are expected to increase from more than 1.3 million TEUs this year to nearly 1.7 million TEUs in 2013. This will boost the fleet to 17.9 million TEUs, for a net growth of 9 percent after deducting a prospective 200,000 TEUs for scrappings and 100,000 TEUs for deferrals and slippage of orders.
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