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Thursday, 16 May 2013

Record scrapping of container shipping

A record number of container ships, including increasingly younger 
vessels, is set to be scrapped this year, but this won’t reduce the 
current oversupply of vessels, according to industry analyst Alphaliner.

Scrapping is likely to reach 450,000 20-foot-equivalent units if 
the current pace of demolition continues, surpassing the record 
381,000 TEUs removed from the world fleet in 2009.

In the first four months of 2013, ships totaling 195,000 TEUs have 
been scrapped or de-celled. The average age of such ships 
has fallen to a low of 22 years, compared with 25 to 30 years historically.

The surging scrapping rate is largely attributable to an increase 
in the number of 3,000- to 5,000-TEU vessels being sold to 
breakers’ yards, with 30 ships of this size sold for scrap so far 
this year, including the 4,714-TEU 1990-built Maersk Malacca, the 
biggest container vessel to be scrapped in capacity terms.

The Maersk Malacca’s sister ship, Maersk Merlion, is also due to 
be scrapped when she comes off charter later this month.

Trading prospects are expected to remain poor, with the 3,000- to 5,000-TEU 
Panamax sector the weakest segment because of oversupply as 
shipowners opt for larger post-Panamax tonnage.

Five 4,528-TEU ships owned by APL also are set to be scrapped 
in the summer after ending their deployment on the Far East-U.S. 
East Coast service via the Suez Canal. They will be replaced by larger 
8,000- to 9,000-TEU vessels.

Despite the record scrapping rates, the total capacity due to be 
deleted from the world fleet still trails deliveries of new ships by a 
ratio of 1:3, Alphaliner said.

Source: JOC. 7 May 2013

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