The world container ship capacity reached 16.335 million 20-foot-equivalent units on Jan. 1, 2013, an increase of 6 percent from a year ago, according to industry analyst Alphaliner.
Around a quarter of the additional capacity is surplus to carriers’ requirements, which has boosted the idle fleet of ships over 500 TEUs to 810,000 TEUs, 5 percent of the total fleet, at the beginning of 2013, from 595,000 TEUs a year ago.
Shipyards delivered 207 ships with 1.26 million TEUs of capacity in 2012, and 200 vessels totaling 351,000 TEUs were scrapped or lost. An additional 18,000 TEUs joined the fleet, mainly because of Maersk Line’s boosting the capacity of its 8,200 to 8,600-TEU S-class ships to around 9,600 TEUs.
This resulted in net growth of 921,100 TEUs, according to Alphaliner. Chartered vessels accounted for 51 percent of the increase.
The trans-Pacific route topped capacity growth in 2012, with carriers boosting cargo space by 10 percent to 2.46 million TEUs.
The global order book stood at 3.43 million TEUs on Jan. 1, equivalent to 21 percent of the current fleet.