Boxship ordering accelerates

A total of 147 boxships have been ordered since the start of October 2020, compared to just 40 in the January to September period of last year, according to new data from Clarkson Research Services.

The 363 ships on order equating to 2.9m slots represent 12.2% of the extant fleet on a slot basis and 10.8% on a dwt basis. Until the last quarter of 2020 this fleet to orderbook ratio had been in single figures.

Ordering has been most heavily weighted into the largest size category, with 86 ships in the 15,000 teu to 24,000 teu category representing 1.7m slots on order, according to Clarksons.

Container shipping’s bifurcation between large ships and feeders is becoming increasingly clear with scant appetite among owners to order mid-size tonnage. There are currently zero ships on order in the 6,000 to 7,999 teu range and just 18 on the 8,000 to 11,999 teu bracket.

Other interesting takeaways from the Clarkson data show that carriers have sped up their ships by around 2% this year on the back of huge congestion at many gateway ports. However, today’s liner fleet is still moving roughly one quarter slower than it did back in 2008.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


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