Newbuilding orders for containerships in the second half of 2011 are expected to be dominated by contracts for smaller vessels in the 1,000 teu-3,000 teu bracket.
Lines became more hesitant about ordering ultra-large ships and demand for feederships is increaseing.
When European and US companies return to the office after the northern hemisphere summer season ends, Clarkson Research Services is anticipating an increase of orders for these smaller boxships.
“While first half 2011 has been all about large containerships, it is feasible that post-holidays increased activity will materialise in the 1,000-3,000 teu sector,” the London-headquartered research team said in its weekly shipping report.
“This sector has a much older fleet and an orderbook currently below 10% of the existing fleet, so it does seem as if this sector may prove fertile ground.
“Clearly economies of scale can be achieved on the longhaul routes by the behemoths that have been contracted so far this year, but feeding off from large ports to the smaller inter regional trades will require a greater number of smaller ships.”
The “behemoths” that it makes reference to is a stampede of ordering by lines following Maersk’s announcement earlier in the year that it is to build the world’s largest containerships — 18,000 teu Triple E class vessels — and 20 of them.
What has followed are a number of orders for boxships with capacity above 10,000 teu.
In the year to date, there had been 181 containership orders, well beyond the 124 contracted in the whole of last year, data from Clarksons showed.
Published : August 8, 2011