Container shipping’s delicate supply/demand equilibrium is set to come under renewed pressure this year as a raft of new orders are set to rain in principally from Asian owners.
Alphaliner is predicting orders to increase year-on-year in 2018 with a number of carriers, including Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) and Yang Ming, readying contracts with Asian yards while several non-operating owners remain keen to take on newbuilding projects at the current attractive price levels.
This year, Alphaliner anticipates vessel deliveries to increase to 1.49m teu, while deletions, mainly from scrapping, are expected to fall to 350,000 teu. This would push container fleet growth to 5.6% in 2018, compared to a 3.7% growth recorded in 2017.
Alphaliner’s latest weekly report states that total new containership capacity orders surged by 139.5% to reach 671,641 teu in 2017. Nevertheless, the orderbook-to-fleet ratio fell from 15.7% at the end of 2016 to its current value of 12.6%.