THE decision by the world's top container shipping line, Maersk, to lay-up one of its 18,000-TEU ships is expected to prompt other ocean liners to remove surplus ships from service.
The move to mothball the Triple-E vessel came after the Maersk group lowered its full-year profit forecast for the container division by US$600 million to $1.6 billion.
Drewry said Maersk Line's problems were a "wake up call" for the industry - it might have superior economies of scale, but there is no extra 'silver bullet' to protect it from the worsening trading conditions, reported The Loadstar.
Without taking steps to mitigate the impact of the downturn, Maersk will bleed like other carriers, it said.
In this sub-economic container freight environment NOL has posted a third quarter net loss of $96 million, while Chinese carriers Cosco and CSCL suffered a combined loss of $426 million.
Drewry said: "Carriers have thus far been able to stay in the black, despite rapidly decreasing freight rates, because they have managed to cut costs even harder, but the extent of the pricing decline seen recently will exceed any cost savings and tip many carriers towards the red zone, some quicker than others.