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Containership Orderbook Ratio Could Reach 25%

21st July 2021
BOXBOATS AHEAD: A year ago, capacity on newbuild orders was under 10% of the existing fleet. That has now doubled and new orders coming through from carriers and owners are pushing towards a ‘psychological barrier’, after which overcapacity becomes a risk again. Above: Varying sized containerships at the Port of Felixstowe, the Britain's biggest boxboat port. BOXBOATS AHEAD: A year ago, capacity on newbuild orders was under 10% of the existing fleet. That has now doubled and new orders coming through from carriers and owners are pushing towards a ‘psychological barrier’, after which overcapacity becomes a risk again. Above: Varying sized containerships at the Port of Felixstowe, the Britain's biggest boxboat port. Credit: Jehan Ashmore

Shipyard orderbook for containerships could rise as high as 24% of the existing fleet if a spate of unconfirmed orders go to completion, threatening an ‘overheated’ market and eventual oversupply.

“Ocean carriers, non-operating owners, investment banks and lessors have gone all-in on container ship newbuildings in the first half of this year, signing well over 300 vessel orders at Chinese, Korean and Japanese yards,” said Alphaliner.

The tonnage on order would have an aggregate capacity of 2.9m teu, or 11.8% of the existing total boxship fleet capacity of 24.5m teu.

But when combined with orders that started again in earnest in the second half of last year, the full orderbook is now 4.9m teu, with the orderbook-to-fleet ratio doubling to 19.9% at the end of June, from 9.4% a year ago.

There was also a “grey zone” of reported but unconfirmed orders that could push up numbers, and further confirmed orders have emerged in the weeks since the end of the first half, Alphaliner noted.

Ocean Network Express is understood to be among those looking for more tonnage with an order for six 24,000 teu vessels. South Korea’s TS Lines has also ordered four 7,000 teu units in the past week.

Yang Ming, which this week denied that it had returned to the yards, remains another candidate for new orders, along with Cosco, Alphaliner said.

The story, LloydsLoadingList continues here. 

Published in Shipyards
Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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Shipyards

Afloat will be focusing on news and developments of shipyards with newbuilds taking shape on either slipways and building halls.

The common practice of shipbuilding using modular construction, requires several yards make specific block sections that are towed to a single designated yard and joined together to complete the ship before been launched or floated out.

In addition, outfitting quays is where internal work on electrical and passenger facilities is installed (or upgraded if the ship is already in service). This work may involve newbuilds towed to another specialist yard, before the newbuild is completed as a new ship or of the same class, designed from the shipyard 'in-house' or from a naval architect consultancy. Shipyards also carry out repair and maintenance, overhaul, refit, survey, and conversion, for example, the addition or removal of cabins within a superstructure. All this requires ships to enter graving /dry-docks or floating drydocks, to enable access to the entire vessel out of the water.

Asides from shipbuilding, marine engineering projects such as offshore installations take place and others have diversified in the construction of offshore renewable projects, from wind-turbines and related tower structures. When ships are decommissioned and need to be disposed of, some yards have recycling facilities to segregate materials, though other vessels are run ashore, i.e. 'beached' and broken up there on site. The scrapped metal can be sold and made into other items.

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