“Starting from March, the pace of new containership deliveries will pick up rapidly especially in the larger segments,” the latest weekly report from Linerlytica pointed out. A total of 32 ships of over 23,000 teu are due this year, with six units scheduled in March alone. A further 67 neo-panamax units of 12,000-16,000 teu will also be delivered this year, of which 11 are scheduled in May.
The record container order book, which sees ships contracted at yards in Asia through to 2027, now totals 7.692m teu according to Alphaliner, a figure which is larger than the combined extant fleets of Maersk and CMA CGM, the world’s second and third largest container lines. By July last year, the boxship orderbook had become larger than both the tanker and bulker orderbooks in dwt for the first time, according to Clarksons Research.
The orderbook as a percentage of the current fleet stands at 29.5% according to Alphaliner, with a heavy skew towards larger-sized ships. Clarksons data shows only the LNG sector has a higher orderbook to extant fleet ratio.
Peter Sand, chief analyst at Xeneta, in Splash’s 2023 container market outlook published last month, predicted that 25% of the scheduled orderbook will be postponed, while no more than 10% is expected to be cancelled – and that would probably be options not called rather than outright and expensive cancellations.