Santa’s sleighs lie idle: Alphaliner warns of Xmas record for unemployed boxships

The number of 500+ teu containerships idled will hit a record high by the end of the year, according to French analysts Alphaliner.

A total of 329 ships equivalent to 1.4m teu – equivalent to 7% of the global fleet – were laid up by the end of November, up by 23 ships from a fortnight prior. Laid up ships leapt by 400,000 teu in November are on course to break December 2009’s all time record of 1.5m teu soon. This comes despite a marked uptick in the number of ships being sent for scrap.

The only ship type to reverse the trend were ships of around 2,000 teu.

“The forthcoming Christmas season will do little to stimulate demand, adding to the market’s overall misery,” Alphaliner 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.


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