Global container fleet growth sets records

Last month a new record was set for the growth of the global container ship fleet; according to Linerlytica, almost 280,000 TEU of new capacity were delivered in June.

The analyst estimates the fleet growth for the first half of the year at 148 vessels with a total capacity of 975,000 TEU. For the second half of the year, a 20% higher growth is forecasted, which is more than 1.2 million TEU, considering a part of the scheduled deliveries is postponed. Thus, according to Linerlytica’s calculations, new tonnage with a total capacity of about 2.2 million TEU will join the global container fleet this year. The previous record of 1.7 million TEU was set in 2015.

According to Drewry, ship owners have placed orders for approximately 7.2 million TEU of container ship capacity in 2021 to 2022, which is more than in the previous six years.

Drewry acknowledges that carriers are taking certain measures to limit capacity supply such as slowing vessels, postponing new ship deliveries and canceling voyages. However, Drewry analysts warn that these measures are clearly not enough to prevent a long and painful period of oversupply until at least 2026.

The problem is that carriers and ship owners are not ready to dispose of old vessels in sufficient volumes. According to Linerlytica, only 47 vessels with a total capacity of 85,000 TEU were disposed of in the first half of the year.