Soaring Mega-Ship Orders Strain Supply-Demand


The rate of mega-vessel ordering across the shipping industry is unlikely to slow down soon, as many shipyards continue to complete their orders for massive numbers of ships, a feat that is causing a wider mismatch between supply and demand, according to the Journal of Commerce.

Around 97 ships of 18-20,000 TEU capacity are anticipated to be ordered by mid-2019, with a total of 36 to be delivered this year.

Nine out of a total of 20 largest carriers will be operating ships of this size by 2018.

Fitch Ratings said: “Weaker data on exports and manufacturing in China and its economic transition increase uncertainty for container shipping. The supply/demand imbalance will be exacerbated by container shipping companies continuing to order mega-vessels.”

Read: Is Container Shipping Sailing into a Storm

However, Maersk has previously stated that world trade is anticipated to surge by 5-8% each year, and on the back of this, it has demonstrated that it believes in this statement with its order for eleven 19,000 TEU ships.

Soren Toft, COO of Maersk Line, said: “I am very happy with this order. These vessels will help us stay competitive in the Asia-Europe trade and will be key in our strategy to grow with the market.” 

The stance from Maersk signifies a differing economic forecast from Fitch, potentially signifying an increasing dissonance in how liners and analysts view the market.

Denmark-based carrier Maresk has also stated that it will cut capacity on key routes in a bid to hold onto its 15% share of the container market.

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