Non-cellular ships represent just 1.1% of the total container fleet active on liner services

Containerlines looking over their shoulders at the increasing number of non-cellular ships coming in to steal their business have nothing to worry about.

Despite many headlines of new non-boxship entrants onto regular liner trades over the past year, the numbers remain insignificant.

The total capacity of non-cellular ships deployed on regular liner services in August has increased by 21.6%, compared to a year ago, according to Alphaliner. However, these vessels represent only 1.1% of the total container fleet active on liner services.

“The deployment of extra multipurpose or general cargo ships in liner trades has not solved the capacity shortage during the past twelve months,” Alphaliner argued in its latest weekly report, noting the average capacity of these ships stands at only 525 teu

The Alphaliner data excludes ships trading on parcel services, where the port rotation is entirely subject to sufficient cargo inducement. Conros as well as vessels carrying forest products and taking additional containers as deck load or taking a container load on a return trip have also not been included in its count.

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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