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BIMCO: Container capacity adjustment important

Global – The Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) says the future may hold a much faster recovery and more sustainable box rates if tonnage is idled ‘€˜to bring balance to the market’€™. This follows the news that 274 ships with a combined capacity of 768 000 TEU have been recorded as idle by Alphaliner.

Approximately 180 ships were said to be idle during the same period last year, states BIMCO. It was then operators began to extend the idling process that peaked at 300 vessels and thus ‘€˜paved the way for the rate turnaround’€™ witnessed in the last week of 2011 and the first two months of this year. ‘€˜So each carrier knows what to do,’€™ reasons the council.

‘€˜The demand erosion suggests that deployed capacity must firmly and continuously be adjusted to achieve some kind of market balance that forms the foundation for rates to go higher rather than lower,’€™ BIMCO remarks. ‘€˜If judged by the circumstances that surrounded the November 1 changes in freight rates, this round of adjustments may prove to be a carbon copy.’€™

The report adds that the container ship fleet has grown by 5.9% so far this year and remains ‘€˜on course for a full-year fleet expansion of 7.2%’€™. Meanwhile, container ship demolition has continued to be very strong throughout 2012 – up from the very low level of 77 000 TEU in 2011 to touch 300 000 TEU this year.

According to BIMCO, it is ‘€˜equally important that the demolition of larger sizes has started’€™, with 27% of the recycled tonnage having a capacity exceeding 3000 TEU.

The positive growth in EU and US trades during 2013 is forecast to accelerate going into 2014.

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Source: Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

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