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Although new orders continue to increase, carriers will stabilize freight rates by adjusting capacity flexibly

It is reported that a carrier executive said in an interview with JOC: "The shipping alliance has demonstrated that the industry has the ability to manage demand fluctuations by canceling sailings and laying ships, and capacity management will respond to any oversupply." It expects spot rates to drop in the second half of this year, but some carriers have locked in high freight rates through long-term contracts, almost ensuring profitability this year.


However, the new capacity to be delivered to carriers over the next two years will require some management. Alphaliner said global fleet capacity will grow by 8.5% by 2023, while demand will grow by 4.5%. According to data from IHS Markit, the current orderbook capacity for new ships is 6.6 million TEU, equivalent to 26.7% of the global container fleet capacity, which is up from 22.7% last year and the highest level since 2008.


Most of that capacity will be delivered within the next two years, and some in the industry say rates will drop sharply as the market returns to pre-pandemic excess capacity as these new ships come online as the global economy weakens.




However, the carrier executive pointed out that they are still struggling to meet capacity needs, and will have to phase out old, less environmentally friendly container ships as decarbonization efforts intensify in the next few years.




“Yes, the order book share is relatively high, around 25% to 26%. New orders placed in the first quarter reached 1 million TEU, but the supply of ships is still tight and the idle ships are still at a low level. The expected demand Slower growth and an influx of new capacity beyond 2023 should ease the tightness, but on the other hand, sustainability may accelerate scrapping, so newer, greener ships are being delivered to replace older ships.”





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