New container ship deliveries hit 1.275 million 20-foot-equivalent units in the 12 months through June 2013, adding to pressure on freight rates across all trade lanes, industry analyst Alphaliner reported.
Half of the new capacity, or 622,000 TEUs, was deployed on the Far East-Europe route. This included 33 vessels of more than 10,000 TEUs, with a combined capacity of 442,000 TEUs, led by the delivery last month of the 18,200-TEU Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller, the world’s biggest container ship.
The flat demand on the route prompted ocean carriers to remove an equal amount of capacity from the trade, with smaller ships reassigned to other trades and triggering a wave of vessel “cascading” across multitrade lanes, Alphaliner noted.
The Far East-North America trades posted the largest capacity increase, with 321,000 TEUs added in the June 2012-June 2013 period, for year-over-year growth of 12 percent.
This was made up of 131,000 TEUs of new ships of between 3,500 and 9,200 TEUs and 190,000 TEUs of capacity cascaded from the Far East-Europe trades.
Oceania- and Africa-related trades saw the largest percentage capacity increases of 15.1 percent, equivalent to 89,000 TEUs, and 14.5 percent, or 185,000 TEUs, respectively.