The month of January will see seven megamax vessels in the 19,000 – 21,000 teu delivered as well as three other ULCs in the 14,000 teu and over range.
“The month will set the stage for the rest of 2018, with a record number of ULCs in the size range from 14,000 to 21,000 teu planned for delivery this year,” analyst Alphaliner said in its weekly newsletter.
The record deliveries in 2018 come despite moves by some owners to defer deliveries. Alphaliner said Cosco had pushed back 10 ULCs it was due to receive in 2018, while Yang Ming had delayed three 14,000 teu ships until 2019.
Even with the delivery delays in total some 1.5m teu is expected to hit the water in 2018 with over 50% of that capacity coming from ULCs.
“Most of this capacity is scheduled for delivery in the first half of the year, with over 1.2m teu due before the end of June. These capacity additions, together with a slower rate of container ship scrapping, will put further capacity pressure on the market,” the report warned.
As a whole the global containership fleet is expected to grow by 5.6% this year to 22.28m teu.