Alphaliner said in its weekly report that the capacity of idle containerships had risen to its highest level since the nadir of the market in 2009/2010 with 934,700 teu of vessels now sat around the world at anchor.
It forecast that the idle fleet would breach the 1m teu mark in the coming weeks as lines implement more capacity reduction programmes.
Underscoring worsening conditions Maersk Line has idled one of the largest ships in its fleet and 18,000 teu triple-E, whereas lines have generally tried to avoid taking their largest vessels out of service.
“This Maersk Line vessel is scheduled to remain an-chored for six weeks as a result the void sailings programme on the Asia -Europe route. While carriers normally try to keep their largest ships active, the over-supply conditions in almost all trade sectors have left them with no choice but to idle even their most expensive assets,” Alphaliner commented.
In a apparent warning to the market it said the idle numbers could be higher if it was not for delays in deliveries of newbuildings.
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