Shipyards face a miserable year as containership newbuilding interest collapses.
Latest analysis from Clarksons shows that just one contract was signed in the first two months of 2012.
That was for a single 4,800 teu containership worth $54m.
The moribund start to the year, reflecting a collapse in freight rates that is only just being reversed, follows a busy year in 2011 when $22.3bn of new boxship orders were placed.
Ordering activity has swung back and forth in recent years, with record levels in the few years up to 2008 before a virtual standstill in 2009 as the container trades contracted. Then came a slow recovery in 2010 and then much more business in 2011 when Maersk Line kicked off a new round of ordering with its contract for 18,000 teu ships.
While ordering activity has ceased for now, deliveries have continued at a robust pace, according to Clarksons, with 13 containerships of a combined 94,022 teu delivered in February. That took year-to-date deliveries to 27 boxships of a combined 178,333 teu.
Published : March 28, 2012