According to MANA, the situation on boxship market was also similar, as there were only three orders placed for 2,150 teu containerships, also down from five ordered in 2016.
Owners and operators are refraining from new orders as they battle low freight rates prompted by oversupply in both container and bulk shipping. What is more, increased capacity of tankers resulting from the delivery boom in mid-to-late 2016 has exerted negative pressure on oil and gas shipping. This resulted in lower freight rates and significant competition between shipowners to attract good charters, Maritime & Trade Analyst Devlin McStay says in a commentary.
“Most orders being placed at present are for specialised, high-value ships,” according to McStay. “For example, the three box ships ordered by Eimskip/Royal Arctic Line are for operation in Arctic conditions and, in principle, will operate outside mainstream, over-tonnaged markets.”
As explained, the significant slump in shipbuilding orders comes as little surprise, given the prolonged period of over-tonnaging in many key shipping markets.