Containership orderbook equivalent to the extent fleets of Cosco, Hapag-Lloyd and Evergreen

More statistics relating to today’s record containership orderbook are pouring in.

According to Alphaliner, there are now just under 900 ships totalling 6.8m teu due to be built at yards around the world.

According to Alphaliner, the pipeline of container newbuildings is bigger than the combined existing fleets of Cosco, Hapag-Lloyd and Evergreen, the world’s fourth, fifth and sixth largest liners, respectively.

The global reference fleet now stands at more than 25m teu, compared to less than half this size back in 2007, when the orderbook-to-fleet ratio peaked at 64.2%.

Compared to the end of 2020, tightening yard slots, increasing steel costs and rising energy prices have pushed prices for container vessels up by 30% to 35% according to Alphaliner.

MSC, which earlier this year surpassed Maersk at the top of the liner rankings, has the largest orderbook with more than 1.7m teu set to deliver in the coming years, according to Sea-Intelligence. MSC’s orderbook alone would be the world’s fifth largest carrier, on a par with Hapag-Lloyd.

Boxship contracting activity was up 256% in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the previous three months, according to Danish Ship Finance.

In 2023 and 2024, a massive 319 and 263 new vessels will be delivered, propelling fleet growth before scrapping to 8% and 6% measured in teu, respectively, Danish Ship Finance data shows.

“If the current high contracting activity continues, we fear that oversupply will impact the container market for a long time,” a report from Danish Ship Finance published earlier this month warned.

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.


  1. How does a person get purchasing wholesale and reselling here in the US?

  2. Hello Sam

    Liked your article re. Container ship order book. Would there be any stats/numbers on the number of shops that are taken ‘Offline’/scrapping? and why?

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