Arrival of new mega-containership risks tilting the balance on box trades
THE containership orderbook is at an historic low but top carriers have a backlog of 86 ships of over 10,000 TEU scheduled for delivery over the next two to three years
THE containership orderbook is at an historic low but top carriers have a backlog of 86 ships of over 10,000 TEU scheduled for delivery over the next two to three years.
The deployment of the extra capacity in the region of 1.47 million TEU could prove challenging. The orders were placed before the pandemic stunted global growth, coupled with considerable uncertainty over the speed of a recovery against the recessionary background.
Alphaliner notes that the outstanding orders are 'unequally spread among the three big alliances'.
'The two carriers with the largest orders, CMA CGM and Evergreen, belong to the Ocean Alliance, which already has a market share of 39.5 per cent on the transpacific and 38.7 per cent on the Asia-Europe trade,' said the consultant.
Along with Cosco (OOCL) the alliance has 57 ships under construction with a total capacity of one million TEU.
THE Alliance members Hapag-Lloyd, ONE, Yang Ming and HMM have 24 ships on order, with a capacity of 349,000 TEU, while 2M partners Maersk and MSC have five 23,650 TEU vessels still to be delivered, all ordered by the latter.
Alphaliner says the deployment of 57 extra ships within the Ocean Alliance network will be 'a challenging task in times of expected low growth demand'.
To mitigate the influx of new tonnage it said CMA CGM and Cosco (OOCL) had the option of returning around fifteen 8,000-10,000 TEU chartered-in vessels by the end of next year. But, it added, the redelivery prospects for Evergreen were 'marginal', given the length of the Taiwanese carrier's charters.
'The 2M is in a much more comfortable position, with Maersk having no outstanding orders and MSC having only five 'megamax 24' ships under construction,' said Alphaliner.
The consultant said the delivery of the 86 newbuild vessels was 'expected to put extra pressure on the Asia to Europe trade, as the biggest ships are expected to be deployed there'.
The arrival of this additional capacity as the industry hits its seasonal slack season will test the resolve of the carriers to continue with their successful blanking programmes, reports UK's The Loadstar.