Currently, 93 per cent of the Far East–North Europe loops and 80 per cent of the Far East–Mediterranean loops have adopted Extra Slow Steaming, ESS, French Alphaliner estimates.
In the Pacific, the figures are somewhat lower – 50 per cent of the FE–US West Coast loops and 76 per cent of the FE–US East Coast loops are slow steaming.
The shorter FE–USWC is more sensitive to the fixed costs of deploying additional ships, relative to the cost of existing ships. It is furthermore expected, that some of the niche carriers active on the transpacific routes will continue to run at faster service speeds in order to provide some competitive advantage over their larger competitors.
Alphaliner estimates suggest that extra-slow steaming is economically feasible as long as bunker fuel prices remain above USD 400/ton, whereas first-stage slow steaming starts to be interesting at around USD 250/ton.
The idle container ship fleet rose marginally to 336,000 TEUs this week or 2.4 per cent of the total cellular fleet, compared to 328,000 TEUs a fortnight ago.