Containership orderbook ratio hits lowest ever level

The boxship orderbook-to-fleet ratio has fallen to its lowest level ever recorded, according to a new report from Alphaliner. As of May 1, the orderbook stood at just 14.1% of the extant fleet, a far cry from its 2007 peak when it hit a staggering 64.2%.

The previous low was recorded in January 1999, when it hit 14.6%.

“The current slump is expected to be a deeper and more prolonged one, as the ratio looks set to shrink even further over the coming months, with no major new orders expected to be placed until the end of the year,” Alphaliner stated.

Industry heavyweights have gone on record in recent months suggesting container shipping’s supply demand imbalance will remain in place for years to come, negating the need for any rush of new orders.

Søren Skou, group CEO of AP Møller Mærsk, for instance, has predicted that by 2022 there will be around 23m teu in global liner capacity against a likely demand for 22m teu.

Another container veteran, CC Tung, chairman of Hong Kong liner OOCL, has said in the recent past that the liner supply/demand picture will remain imbalanced through till the end of this decade.

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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