The idle containership fleet stood at 2.72 million TEU as of May 25, or 11.6 per cent of capacity, due to a combination of blank sailings to mitigate the impact of lower demand from the Covid-19 pandemic and vessels taken out of service for scrubber retrofits.
Some 64 vessels with a total capacity of 571,858 TEU that are inactive are currently undergoing scrubber retrofits meaning that the portion of fleet taken out service to manage capacity has passed the 2 million TEU mark.
According to Alphaliner's weekly newsletter the world's two largest container lines - Maersk and MSC - account for the largest portion of the idle fleet with a combined total of 845,000 TEU out of service. However, more than half this figure relates to vessels undergoing scrubber retrofits, reports Seatrade Maritime News, Colchester, UK.
Alphaliner said it expected the inactive fleet to peak shortly as lockdowns in many countries start to ease and demand recovers. 'There are encouraging signs that carriers have over-estimated the level of demand contraction in May, and capacity shortages on certain routes have already started to push spot freight rates up.'