2 million TEUs idled a possibility
The idle containership fleet could surpass 2 million TEUs by the end of 2009 or early 2010, according to projections from Alphaliner.
Citing the delivery of more than 2.75 million TEUs of capacity through the end of 2010, the maritime news service said that idle capacity will likely rise from the current 1.2 million TEUs unless demand strengthens.
Idle capacity peaked at 1.42 million TEUs in March.
'The current reduction in idle capacity is a result of service re-activations for the summer peak season as well as increased scrapping of older tonnage, with year-to-date deletions already reaching 207,000 TEUs,' Alphaliner said. 'During the first half of 2009, 150 cellular ship deliveries were recorded, representing 622,000 TEUs. The figure is lower than earlier forecasts, as some deliveries have been postponed to the second half of the year and to 2010. Although delivery delays have brought some relief to owners in the first half of the year, the measure is not expected to significantly affect the oversupply situation in the long run, as most newbuildings due in 2009 and 2010 can only be deferred by a few months, at most.'
Gianluigi Aponte, founder and chairman of ocean carrier Mediterranean Shipping co., told Lloyd's List Monday that MSC has scrapped 20 to 25 vessels this year and plans to scrap another 20 before the end of 2009, with most in the 1,500- to 2,000-TEU class.
Speaking at a naming ceremony for a new MSC cruise ship, Aponte said the carrier would have had to lay up vessels if not for the scrapping and may still have to lay up vessels if demand doesn't rebound. As of now, MSC has not idled a single ship.