Booming May rates mask the looming capacity bomb

Massive increases in container shipping rates since 2 May are the consequence of Asian port congestion, US import demand, reduced Asia to Europe capacity and the ongoing geopolitical risks seen in the Red Sea, sending rates soaring by 28.8% in two weeks.

Drewry Shipping consultants said that average container freight rates had fallen week-on-week by 2.6% between 25 January and early May, boosting the top line of container shipping companies and their share prices by 19% this year so far.


Fuel concerns see operators favouring direct boxship orders over long-term charters

The dilemma over alternative fuels and financing means that liner operators are more inclined to order newbuildings themselves, rather than turning to tonnage providers.

As a result, these non-operating owners’ fleets remain lower than pre-Covid-19 days.

Tonnage providers have seen net fleet additions for the first time in nearly four years, as newbuilding deliveries finally outpace ship sales, according to Alphaliner’s report today (13 March).

Newbuilding deliveries added 86 ships of 342,000 TEUs...

Red Sea crisis spurs surge in TEU capacity: Newbuildings fully absorbed

The total container ship capacity deployed on trades affected by the Red Sea crisis has increased by 1.26 million TEUs since October 2023, driven mainly by vessel diversions to the Cape of Good Hope, according to the latest Linerlytica report.

The Far East-Mediterranean recorded the largest jump of 610,000 TEUs, accounting for half of the increased capacity over the period, followed by the Far East-North Europe route at 260,000 TEUs.

“The increased demand for tonnage has fully absorbed all of the...

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