New threshold in containership delivery reached

Ocean cargo shippers will have access to more than a million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), thanks to the continuing introduction of new vessel capacity

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Ocean cargo shippers will have access to more than a million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), thanks to the continuing introduction of new vessel capacity.

According to the Paris-based consultancy, Alphaliner, this threshold was reached in mid-October, and represents the distribution of space among spread across 154 vessels.

Furthermore, said analysts, 0.28 million TEU is planned to be delivered over the next ten weeks, bringing the expected deliveries to 1.28 million TEU for the full year.

“Non-deliveries” due to cancellations, deferrals and slippage have fallen to 8.5n percent – i.e. only twice their long-term historical levels – as the bulk of the delivery deferrals was negotiated in 2009 and 2010.

“These deferrals were integrated within our delivery forecast in real time,” said Stephen Fletcher, Alphaliner’s commercial director. “Some market sources, which predicted earlier this year that the non-delivery
rate for 2011 could be as high as 45 percent of the scheduled vessel deliveries, reckoned erroneously that deferrals and delays for 2011 would repeat the figures recorded for 2009 and 2010.”

As it turned out, 2009 and 2010 were exceptional years as the financial crisis led owners and carriers to defer the deliveries of a significant part of the orderbook, as well as to cancel part of their orders. Such crisis-driven initiatives, said analysts, were not to be repeated in 2011.

Cancellations have actually been marginal this year, with no impact on the deliveries scheduled for 2011. Actual deferrals and slippage are expected to reach some 120,000 TEU, or only 8.5 percent of the expected deliveries this year, based on the Alphaliner database, which is updated in real time to incorporate the latest delivery schedules.

“Almost half the figure can be attributed to the chronic slippage that occurs even in bullish times, mostly caused by non-performing shipyards or technical issues,” said Fletcher. “Another part can be attributed to the difficulties that some owners continue to face in their quest to gather the necessary funds to pay the final installments on their newbuildings contracts.”

About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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