The container shipping fleet ended 2015 with a total capacity of 19.7million TEU. Although fleet growth will be low this year at just 3.4% a net addition of 680,000 TEU across the year could see the 20million TEU barrier being breached in June according to Bimco chief shipping analyst Peter Sand.
However, it also comes at a time when the container shipping demand as a whole is growing at just 1 – 2%.
Over the last decade the container shipping fleet has increased by 240% in capacity as shipping lines have shifted to ever-larger vessels. Between 2011 and 2016 ultra-large containerships (ULC) of 12,000 TEU capacity and upwards accounted for 45% of the increase in capacity during that period.
“The total containership fleet in TEU increased annually from 2006 onwards by 9%, in contrast to the number of ships which actually increased by only 3.7% on an annual basis,” Sand commented.
“Despite the enormous growth of ULCs market share, the post-panamax fleet of 8,000– 12,000 TEU in relation to the total share and TEU capacity, is still the preferred shipping class, accounting for around one quarter of the containership fleet.”
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