Although the overall capacity of the container shipping fleet is growing, the capacity of the 1,000 teu to 3,000 teu of fleet has declined, which could trigger newbuilding orders in the sector, a senior shipping analyst said.
“Since 2009 the size of the fleets of container ships between 1,000 teu and 3,000 teu of capacity, have all experienced a falling trend.
Since early 2013 the decline has increased. Today those fleets are on average 6% smaller than just 2½ years ago, and the trend is set to continue,” said Peter Sand, chief shipping analyst at BIMCO in Denmark.
“Where spot rates certainly fail to impress, the increase seen in charter rates for smaller to medium sized container ships have done just that.
The six to 12 months’ charter rates currently seen are almost double that of last year’s. Until now the rise in charter rates for the small to medium sized container ships have not caused a flurry on newbuilding contracts,” he said in a report on the shipping markets.
Just six ships in the size between 1,000 teu and 3,000 teu have been ordered in 2015 so far, while the 2014 total was 72 ships. “If the (time charter) rates remain high, more orders could easily surface,” Sand pointed out.
Related news:Liner shipping industry to remain under pressure
Looking at the overall demand side, Sand said this is developing sightly slower than what the market had anticipated. “After the expected dip around Chinese New Year (February), volumes have failed to pick up markedly.
Global volume growth in 1Q15 was just 1.8%. Nevertheless, things are moving in the right direction and volume growth across the board is seen reflecting the overall positive macroeconomic development.”
A total of 602,000 teu of newbuilt capacity have been added to the supply side of the container shipping market since 1 January.
“As demolition activity have only removed 72,000 teu of containership capacity, the fleet is now 2.9% bigger as compared to the start of the year. The overall fleet growth remains on target for the full year at 6.6%. Included to this number BIMCO expects slippage in deliveries to increase for the rest of the year,” Sand concluded.