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Maersk likely to lay up container ships

Maersk likely to lay up container ships

Copenhagen: Maersk Line has indicated it will "very likely" lay up container ships in 2009 to counter the deepest market downturn in three decades. The vessels likely would be withdrawn from the market in the first half of 2009, Maersk Line Chief Executive Eivind Kolding was quoted as saying this week in Copenhagen. He added that his expectations for growth of the global container shipping market next year to be zero compared to its 10% annual growth over the past 30 years.

Maersk suspended one of its 10 Asia-Europe services for an indefinite period earlier this month. This follows the suspension of another Asia-Europe service in June, which has cut the carrier's capacity on the route by 10% from a year ago.
Kolding stressed that Maersk was better placed that many of its rivals to counter the market downturn because unlike them, it has virtually no new ships being delivered in 2009 when the world fleet is set to grew by 13% from 2008.
There are reported to more than 80 containerships currently laid up, including a dozen larger vessels of 5,000-8,000teu at anchor off Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

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