THERE are 400 per cent more containerships in the 500 TEU-plus range laid up at the end of July than there were at the end of the July last year, reports Alphaliner. Hardest hit are non-operating owners whose share of lay-ups is 79 per cent in TEU terms and 82 per cent in number of ships. Only one out of five of the lay-ups are carrier-controlled as more carriers download surplus tonnage on ship lessors. Panamax ships of less than 5,000 TEU ships suffer most.
At the end of the July this year, there were 216 units, aggregating 467,000 TEU against July 2011's end of July tally of 75 ships totalling 115,000 TEU, according to Alphaliner. The idle fleet has been gradually rising since the beginning of July, and shows a markedly different pattern from the past two years when the idle fleet only started to increase in August and September. Carriers are cutting back capacity much earlier due to the weak cargo demand especially in the euro zone areas, with the expected peak season cargo demand failing to materialise, said Alphaliner. Unlike recent years, no major new peak season strings have been announced so far on main headhauls. The only new string to be launched is the Evergreen/Hanjin Far East-Europe service that is to start in mid-August, mostly deploying newbuildings. Source : Schednet in Shipping News Clippings 223.
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