BIMCO expects the container shipping fleet to break through the 20m teu barrier as soon as next month. 2016 will see the lowest fleet growth rate on record (3.4% expected), but with an estimated net addition of 0.68m teu of capacity for the full year, the milestone could be reached in June.
Over the last decade, the fleet size in teu increased by 240% and reached 19.7m teu at the end of 2015.
The ultra large containership segment (ULCS) especially contributed to the growth; starting at 0.5% in 2007 and currently accounts for 18% of the total fleet – as measured by teu capacities.
Chief shipping analyst Peter Sand commented: “The trend towards higher capacity container ships stands out during the 2006 – 2016 period and even accelerated in the last five years. Therefore, the driver towards the 20m teu margin was ultra large containerships and post-panamax between 8,000 teu and 12,000 teu.”