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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Container shipping lines have put almost all ships back in service

According to Alphaliner the idle container ship fleet has reached its lowest levels since August 2008 and it now approaches regular pre-crisis levels.

At the beginning of this month, the Paris-based data gathering company recorded only 63 ships - for 80,000 TEU - as idle. This figure is expected to reduce by a further 20,000 TEU in the coming weeks.

Is is reported that the number of ships of above 1,000 TEU in long-term lay up has shrunk to less than 15 units, including a handful of mothballed US-flagged ships.

High demand for container ships in the first half of this year reduced the idle fleet but the outlook remains uncertain: Low utilisation levels on a number of key routes and insufficient freight rates could force carriers to scale back deployed capacity later in the year.

Alphaliner says there have been moves by a few carriers to cut down capacity in the last two months but the vast majority of carriers continued to bring new capacity into the market. Out of 32 main carriers surveyed by Alphaliner, 27 carriers added capacity over the last twelve months while only five carriers reduced their operated capacity.

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