The fleet closed 2019 with a total capacity of 23.23 million TEU and Alphaliner expects 1.14 million TEU of new tonnage to be injected this year, reported Seatrade Maritime News, Colchester, UK.
The analyst anticipates that vessel scrapping activity will ramp up in the second half of the year, as newer vessels undergoing scrubber retrofits to comply with IMO 2020 return to the market. Some 300,000 TEU in capacity is forecast to be scrapped compared to 207,000 TEU in 2019.
'The scrubber retrofit wave, which had taken more than one million TEU of capacity out of circulation at the end of 2019, is expected to continue through all of the first half of the year,' Alphaliner wrote in its weekly newsletter.
Scrubber retrofits currently account for three-quarters of the inactive fleet of 1.41 million TEU and active capacity is set to spike in the second half of the year as all vessels being retrofitted with scrubbers are returned to service.
'The active fleet would grow by over five per cent in the second half of the year due to the combined impact of new ship deliveries and the return of the retrofitted ships,' the report said.
'Carriers will have to manage the increased fleet carefully to avoid adding too much capacity to the market this year. Among the top 12 carriers, MSC and Maersk have the largest numbers of ships currently undergoing retrofit, while HMM, CMA CGM and Evergreen will have the most new ship deliveries this year.'