According to MANA, “We are more optimistic than we have been in a long while as demand will continue to make small, incremental gains and freight rates will rebound after last year’s nadir,” Drewry commented in its weekly report on the container market.
“However, we also identified the biggest risk to that outlook as the huge number of ship deliveries, particularly at the top end of the scale.”
Barring delivery delays container shipping is facing up to 1.7m teu of newbuildings this year, more than half of these over 14,000 teu, meaning the vast majority will be deployed on the Asia – North Europe trade.
Meanwhile the Asia – East Coast South America market has seen a 7% increase in a capacity while demand has fallen by 20%.
Drewry commented that while utilisation was up slightly on the East – West trades, consequently boosting rates, the pain was merely being passed along to the North – South trades.
“These trades are the victims of the fact there is simply nowhere else to put the cascaded East-West ships and until they recover the demand strength carriers will either have to accept poor returns on freight rates or park more ships,” the report said.