BIMCO has released a report that suggests the container shipping fleet will break through the 20 million TEU barrier shortly.
The container shipping fleet ended 2015 with a total capacity of 19.7 million TEUs. 2016 is expected to see the lowest fleet growth rate on record (3.4% expected), but with an estimated net addition of 680,000 TEUs of capacity for the full year, the milestone could be reached by June.
Over the last decade, the container shipping fleet has increased by 240% in capacity, as shipping lines have their eyes on larger and larger vessels. In fact, between 2011 and 2016 ultra-large containerships of 12,000 TEU capacity and up accounted for 45% of the increase in capacity during that time.
This is all coming at a time when the container shipping demand as a whole is only growing at 1% – 2%.
BIMCO Chief Shipping Analyst Peter Sand adds,” The trend towards higher capacity container ships stands out during the 2006 – 2016 period and even accelerated in the last five years. Therefore, the driver towards the 20 million TEU margin was ultra large containerships and post-panamax between 8,000 TEUs – 12,000 TEUs “.