WHILE fleet capacity increased 8.1 per cent in 2015, fleet growth has slowed since to a point where it is predicted to reach an historic low of 1.6 per cent in full year 2016, notes Clarksons.
"The recent slowdown in fleet growth has largely been driven by a reduced pace of deliveries," said the London shipbrokers.
"Just 700,000 TEU of capacity has been delivered in the year to date, compared to 1.7 million TEU in full year 2015, with large boxships of 8,000+ TEU accounting for the vast majority (almost 90 per cent) of delivered capacity so far in 2016.
"One key driver of slower deliveries this year is the shape of the orderbook; at start 2015, the orderbook scheduled for delivery in 2016 totalled 1.1 million TEU, around 40 per cent lower than deliveries then scheduled for 2015," said Clarksons.
Yet, the non-delivery of the scheduled orderbook has also risen this year from 11 per cent in TEU terms in 2015 to nearly 40 per cent so far this year, say Clarkson analysts.
Meanwhile, containership demolition has picked up, totalling 133 boxships of 45,000 TEU in the first nine months of the year, nearly four times recycling volumes in the same period in 2015.
Scrapping this year has been focused on old panamaxes following the opening of the expanded Panama Canal locks in June, with old panamaxes accounting for nearly half of the capacity scrapped so far this year.
"The dramatic shift in boxship fleet growth this year is partly evidence of the 'market mechanism" at work, as owners attempt to address significant oversupply.
"This should help to recalibrate the supply and demand balance in the boxship sector to some extent, the wind down in the pace of expansion now being seen may prove a helpful start," said Clarkson analysts.
Source : HKSG.