Germany’s decline as a boxship tonnage provider highlighted

The rise of Asia-Pacific boxship tonnage providers over erstwhile champions Germany has been brilliantly highlighted in the latest edition of Alphaliner’s weekly newsletter.

The control of the non-operating owners (NOOs) containership fleet has radically shifted in the last decade (see chart below).

Ten years ago, the business was dominated by Germany, with German companies filling out all top five spots.

A decade later, there is no longer any German owner at the top of the rankings with the likes of Seaspan, Shoei Kisen and Costamare dominating.

“The decline of the German NOO fleet is the consequence of the collapse of the KG System with the German shipping community unable to find large-scale alternative financing. Years of depressed container charter market and the withdrawal of many large banks from the business have meanwhile done little to help,” Alphaliner explained.

Nevertheless, the tide could now be turning. Strong charter rates of late have seen some German names such as Asiatic Lloyd, Briese Schiffahrt and Vega Reederei return to the yards for the first time in many years in recent weeks.

Seaspan, now in top spot, has seen its fleet more than triple since 2011, while Shoei Kisen is closing in on the 1m slot mark in second place once its huge orderbook delivers.

China has also become, via its ship finance houses, a major tonnage provider.

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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