Alphaliner’s Idled Tonnage Nears A Million TEU


Alphaliner’s Idled

Maritime industry suffers a lot during the winter slack season.  In the next few weeks,  services will be withdrawn and the containers will pile up.  Alphaliner said it’s 263 idled containerships (including 23 ships of 7,500 teu or more), totalling 934,700 teu represents 4.7% of the total global fleet.  It is mainly because of the oversupply in the tradelane.

Carriers normally prefer their large ships active.  But, the Danish carrier’s Maersk Line Triple- E 18,000 teu vessel will anchor for at least 6 weeks, because of the 2M alliance’s blanked sailings programme between Asia and Europe.  Due to the prevailing market conditions, it had no other options.

The significant drop in the rates on the Asia-Europe route had caused an unexpected $600m shortfall in the container line’s full-year profit forecast.  Maersk Line is working on further service cuts to its network to mitigate the loss.  It is expected to announce ahead of its third-quarter results due out on November 6.

On Friday, Maersk Group chief executive Nils Andersen confirmed that the surplus vessels will be returned to owners.  The slump in the market pervades all sizes of ships.  The long-suffering panamax market had witnessed a “substantial increase in the supply of spot tonnage” in recent weeks, against a background of receding demand, said the consultant.

But, the demand has virtually evaporated.  The results are as follows:

  1. Seven ships of 7,900-8,800 teu seek fixtures.
  2. 35 vessels of between 5,300 and 7,500 teu are also seeking fixtures.
  3. The business is fixed on historically low daily hire rates and on extremely favourable terms regarding positioning and options.
  4. The fuel-efficient tonnage is also fading.  (Low fuel cost of around $200 per tonne of heavy fuel oil has reduced the cost advantage of the eco-ships).

Source: The Loadstar