Demand in the container shipping segment is “hobbling forward,” as a “healthy level” of demolition counterbalances the inflow of new and larger ships, according to the BIMCO Shipping Market Overview & Outlook report for August.
Demand was positive on the intra-Asia and trans-Pacific trade routes, as well as the Europe-to-Asia backhaul lane, but demand was low on the Asia-to-Europe front-haul leg, the report showed. Meanwhile, the report noted that a total of 258,000 20-foot-equivalent units have been demolished year-to-date, and predicated another 200,000 TEUs would leave the global fleet before the end of 2013. BIMCO also forecasted that new ship deliveries in 2013 will exceed 1.4 million TEUs.
Overall, the global shipyard orderbook is shrinking, standing now at 90 million compensated gross tonnage, down 13 percent compared to the same time last year, BIMCO said. Global deliveries are down, too, as deliveries in the first five months of 2013 were 23 percent less year-over-year.
However, new orders for container ships are surfacing, with 85 percent of the 2013 orders for post-8,000-TEU-size tonnage, according to the report. Furthermore, BIMCO said the Asia-Europe trade will employ only ultra-large container ships, with capacity of 10,000-plus TEUs, by mid-June 2015, based on scheduled deliveries.
“Future prevalence of slow-steaming remains pivotal for a judgment regarding overcapacity,” BIMCO noted.