HONG KONG non-operating owner Seaspan has sold one of the youngest ships ever for scrap, letting the 4,600-TEU Seaspan Excellence go for US$5.96 million when it paid $17.2 million for it only three and a half years ago.
Seaspan bought the ship, then named the MOL Excellence in 2013 only to scrap it 10 years before the end of its normal operating life, reports London's Loadstar.
If the market does not show signs of improvement it would seem only a question of time before 10-year-old panamax container vessels are being consigned to the breakers yards, said the report, citing the Paris consultancy, Alphaliner.
The number of containerships sold for demolition this year has reached over 100 vessels, according to shipbroker Braemar ACM.
Records also show at 101 ships equalling 342,500 TEU - including 11 ships sold for scrap in the past week - have been sold so far this year, easily surpassing 2015's total, which stood at 85 vessels totalling 187,500 TEU.
On the other hand, vessel deliveries have added 1.27 million TEU of new capacity in the last year.
Although there has been a dramatic fall in the containership orderbook since the beginning of 2016, Alphaliner estimates that it could take three more years to absorb the current orderbook, which stands at 3.48 million TEU.
Today, there are 269 containerships in lay-up equating to 906,167 TEU - or 4.5 per cent of the global cellular fleet - of which 90 per cent are owned by non-operating owners (NOO), according to Alphaliner.
This compares to 127 ships for 345,916 TEU that were idled at the end of July last year, reflecting the sharp deterioration in the charter market over the past 12 months.
Source : HKSG.