January will be a record month for containership deliveries, with Alphaliner listing seven so called megamax newbuildings of 19,000 to 21,000 teu due to join the fleet.
“The month will set the stage for the rest of 2018, with a record number of ULCS in the size range from 14,000 to 21,000 teu planned for delivery this year,” Alphaliner stated in its latest weekly report.
However, the analysts noted that several carriers have deferred some deliveries to next year, most notably China’s Cosco which has postponed taking 10 of its 28 ULCS until 2019. Yang Ming has also delayed three 14,000 teu ships in its vessel pipeline to 2019.
Even with these deferrals, Alphaliner is predicting total new containership capacity due to be delivered in 2018 to hit 1.5m teu putting severe pressure on many already fragile tradelanes. More than 50% of the incoming 1.5m teu is expected to be made up of ULCS from 14,000 teu to 21,000 teu.
“These capacity additions, together with a slower rate of container ship scrapping, will put further capacity pressure on the market,” Alphaliner warned.