Report predicts 104% surge in 4,000-TEU+ ships
The fleet of cellular containerships of more than 4,000 TEUs will expand its capacity 104 percent from 3.2 million TEUs to 6.4 million TEUs over the four-year period ending Jan. 1, 2009, according to the latest fleet forecast of French shipbroker BRS-Alphaliner.
The rapid expansion of ship capacity translates into a compounded annual growth rate of 19.5 percent a year over the four-year period — a figure that is bound to raise concerns about overcapacity in the major east/west container trades, where larger ships are generally used.
Ships of more than 4,000 TEUs will rise 88 percent over the same period, from 589 on Jan. 1 to 1,110 on Jan. 1, 2009, according to the forecast.
Highlighting the increasing bias towards larger ships, BRS-Alphaliner’s figures show 115 ships of more than 4,000 TEUs are due for delivery this year, 129 in 2006, 133 in 2007 and 144 in 2008.
It cautioned that delivery figures for second-half 2007 and later are provisional because shipyards can still accept further vessel orders covering these periods.
Whereas the capacity of 4,000-TEU-plus ships will more than double in the four-year period, capacity of smaller vessels will rise just 34 percent from 4.1 million TEUs in January 2005 to 5.5 million TEUs in January 2009.
The total cellular containership fleet for vessels of all sizes will expand 64 percent from 7.3 million to 12 million TEUs. This represents an annual compounded growth rate of 13 percent.
“The fleet will rise by 13.2 percent during 2005, 15.2 percent during 2006 and 14.1 percent during 2007,” BRS-Alphaliner said. Provided shipowners order no more vessels for delivery in 2008, fleet growth could subside, with an expected 10 percent increase during 2008.