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ONE overtakes Evergreen as 6th largest container line

ONE ONE_Vessel.jpg
In the race for top the rankings Singapore-headquartered Ocean Network Express (ONE) has accelerated into sixth spot, overtaking Taiwan’s Evergreen, by a bowsprit.

Analyst Alphaliner reports that ONE’s static capacity reached 1,681,897 teu, overtaking Evergreen’s 1,673,600 teu as at the 17 August, putting the Japanese carrier amalgam into sixth place in the global rankings.

The broker believes this is a temporary move as Evergreen has an orderbook of more than 50% of its fleet, compared to ONE’s orderbook of just 27.9% of its current capacity.

Therefore, Alphaliner expects Evergreen “to regain its sixth place for good and start putting some distance between itself and the seventh-ranked [carrier].”

There is a 200,000 teu “buffer” between sixth and fifth places in the rankings, with all eyes on Hapag-Lloyd, its chartering and newbuilding programme and, following the closing of the bidding process on 21 August, whether the German carrier can expand through the acquisition of HMM, adding another 1 million teu to its portfolio. If it has, indeed, made an offer for the Korean carrier.

Another factor that could also play into the rankings merry-go-round is the level of scrapping. That will normally depend on a complicated calculation by the lines of whether a vessel can earn sufficient income in its later years if it continues trading, compared to the savings made by scrapping and the income from that sale to breakers, that is the price of steel.

That calculation will be further complicated by the January introduction of the EU ETS, which is expected to herald the introduction of similar carbon pricing schemes in other jurisdictions.

Older ships are less efficient, but whether rates can support upgrading costs, perhaps to operate on alternative fuels remains to be seen.