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Global fleet grows to 22.7 million TEU as big ship demand rises

2019-07-26

THE total global containership fleet expanded by 3.7 per cent year on year to stand at 22.7 million TEU as of July 1, according to analyst Alphaliner's half-year review of the box shipping industry.

It said slowing demand growth has weighed heavily on the market's overall performance, and highlighted the emergence of a two-tier market, divided between stronger performing large container vessels and struggling smaller ships, reported Singapore's Splash 247.

'In this context, a two-tier market has gradually emerged since the start of 2019, where larger ships - above 6,000 TEU - commanded steadily rising rates, while the smaller vessel sizes have lost ground,' the analysts were cited as saying in the report.

Alphaliner's charter rate index has fallen 14 per cent compared to the same period a year earlier.

The International Maritime Organization's new low sulphur regulation that comes into effect in January 2020 has driven demand for larger box ships to fill sailing gaps caused by tonnage being removed from trade routes while the vessels undergo scrubber retrofits, Alphaliner noted.