Delivery of container tonnage over the last 12 months looks set to match increases in demand growth, according to BIMCO.
In its latest research circular, the shipping association says the inflow of new tonnage in 2013 is set to become the second-largest on record, with the total fleet increasing by 1.4m teu. Demolition activity is also on the verge of a record year, with 370,000 teu scrapped, just short of the record 378,000 teu scrapped in 2009.
Taking into account deliveries and scrapping, the overall fleet will have expanded by an estimated 5.9% last year. Meanwhile, BIMCO is expecting demand to increase 5%-7%.
Global market demand grew 5% in the third quarter of 2013, compared with the same period last year.
The report states: “Fleet expansion of around 5.9% is set to become the new standard level of supply growth.”
This matches the BIMCO forecast of a new normal, not just in terms of global economic development but also in container shipping as regards supply and demand.
“From 1996 to 2011, the annual nominal fleet growth was 11%. For 2013 as a whole, demolition of tonnage will have eased the sting of introducing newbuilt capacity.” In terms of deliveries, the inflow of ultra large containerships slowed last year, despite the overall fleet increasing by near-record levels.
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