Thursday, 4 February 2010

Laid-up ships begin the return voyage

Shipping lines are starting to return laid-up ships back into service, as super-slow steaming initiatives absorb more capacity than anticipated and demand grows, according to analyst AXS Alphaliner.

According to its latest figures, the idle containership fleet has declined by 142,000teu over the last month, from 581 ships at the start of January to 532 this week.

However, it still represents 10.4% of the total cellular fleet, and expected deliveries for this year could add to the vessel surplus.

The Paris-based analyst said: “The outlook for the liner market has improved considerably over the last 12 months as both volume and rate increases appear to be resilient.

“There has been increasing optimism among operators, with a stronger-than-expected surge in demand in the period to mid-February.

“Furthermore, extra slow-steaming is absorbing excess capacity quicker than anticipated, especially for the larger vessel sizes.”

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