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Obstruction of Suez Canal does not stop huge container ship orders

April 09, 2021


Abstract : In March, when the Suez Canal was obstructed by the 22,000-TEU ever given ship, ultra large container ships (container ships with a higher capacity than 15,000 TEU) have been ordered together with other 27 smaller ones, for an overall order capacity of 866,060 TEU.

MILAN, April 8 (Class Editori) -- In March, when the Suez Canal was obstructed by the 22,000-TEU ever given ship, ultra large container ships (container ships with a higher capacity than 15,000 TEU) have been ordered together with other 27 smaller ones, for an overall order capacity of 866,060 TEU, a great change for the container transport sector.

Data have been published by BIMCO, the international organization for shipowners, charters, shipbrokers and agents: the container sea transport sector recorded a clear reversal of trend, a signal of the trust of shipowners and investors in market prospects. In 2020 the building of 995,000 TEU of cargo capacity was demanded for container maritime transport while during the first three months of this year the demand reached 1,398,000 TEU, the highest value in six years, according to Shipping Italy, the online daily dedicated to this sector.

"The shipping industry wants to take advantage of the economies of scale that ultra large container ships can offer when saturating their cargo capacity," Peter Sand, Chief Shipping Analyst at BIMCO, said.

In October and December of last year, new orders confirmed were almost exclusively for ships with a maximum capacity of 23,000-24,000 TEU while only 4 out of 23 orders were for large container ships with a lower capacity. This fact shows the trend towards maximizing size and scope of this class of units. So far in 2021, by contrast, only 4 out of 81 orders for new ships with a higher capacity than at least 11,800 TEU were above 15,500 TEU.

"The huge size of some container ships has been questioned many times during the last few days marked by the obstruction of the Suez Canal since some stakeholders have interpreted the incident as a clear signal that some ships are too big. This issue could compromise supply chain reliability, shipping excellence and safety," Sand explained.

"As I have already highlighted, not much change must be expected from this point of view as ultra-large container ships are the preferred choice of shipowners in the arms race of the container shipping industry seeking to improve the profitability of the business over the long term," BIMCO's expert concluded.

(Source:Class Editori)

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Keyword: Suez Canal container ship

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