The record boxship orderbook is about to reach 1,000 vessels, with the container market clearly passed its peak, and yet discussions are ongoing for another raft of newbuilds.
Alphaliner is reporting that at least three of the top ten carriers are close to announcing orders at Asian yards.
Evergreen Marine is negotiating a series of ships in the size range from 15,000 to 17,000 teu with brokers suggesting the Taiwanese carrier is after 10 firm ships with up to 10 options.
Compatriot carrier Yang Ming is in the market for five firm 15,000 teu ships with options for five more. Yang Ming stands out among the top 10 carriers today for having zero ships on order.
Finally, France’s CMA CGM is tipped to double its original six-ship order it signed with Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co (DSIC) in June for 15,000 teu methanol-fuelled vessels.
“Should all the reported orders go though in the coming weeks, they will push the global vessel orderbook to around 8m teu – around 34% of today’s cellular fleet capacity,” Alphaliner stated in its latest weekly report.
Tanker owners, keen to add to their fleets ahead of what many see as a protracted bull run, will be aghast at this latest liner ordering conjecture. Containership owners and LNG movers and shakers have dominated ordering in the past couple of years, taking up the lion’s share of available slots at the world’s top shipyards through to 2025.
Further container orders come at a time when many experts are questioning how the sector will absorb the record order book due to deliver in the coming couple of years amid projected muted demand growth.
“For many years, containerized trade has been the fastest-growing maritime trade segment, but in 2022 is projected to expand at a tepid 1.2 per cent, and even this may be optimistic. Maritime trade is expected to be slowed by macroeconomic headwinds, and inflationary pressures that constrain consumer spending, and by pandemic-induced lockdowns and developments in China’s economy. There could also be some normalizing of demand as consumer spending switches back more to services,” a new report from the United Nations warned late last month, forecasting container growth of just 1.9% next year.