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Clarkson: "Perfect storm" in boxship sector

Clarkson: "Perfect storm" in boxship sector

London: The rapid decline in cargo volumes on the world's two most important liner trades, combined with record deliveries have created the "perfect storm" for the container sector. In its latest weekly report, Clarkson says the three-month moving average of year-on-year percentage growth in the Asian export trades to east and west turned negative last June and by December, was estimated to have fallen to -13%. On top of that, the orderbook which had reached 60% of the fleet at its peak, was still reckoned to total 47%.

Although containership earnings were able to withstand the pressure "before" the storm hit, they began to turn sharply downwards "after" and by the end of February, the containership charter index stood at 40, its lowest point on record, Clarkson says. "With an increasing share of capacity currently sitting 'idle'(close to 10% in late February) the near-term upside for boxship earnings is hard to see, the analysts state. Meanwhile the downturn on these two key routes has had a knock-on effect on other routes. Intra-Asian trades, for example, have been severely affected whilst the impact has also been felt across size ranges, as liner companies have pushed some excess capacity off mainlane trades creating a surplus elsewhere impacting on trade lanes operating with smaller vessels.  [23/03/09]

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