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Containership orders turn around

For the first time in two years, November containership orders surpassed all the deliveries in October, according to the Shipping Gazette citing Paris-based consultancy Alphaliner.

"There is significant latent demand for new ships, as owners rush to place new vessel orders, having shied away from the yards for almost two years," Alphaliner was quoted saying. It noted that 131,000 TEU has been ordered, while 92,000 TEU has been delivered, the lowest since February.

The report said since the orderbook has been in decline since it peaked at 6.89 million TEU in August 2008 due to a combination of poor market sentiment and a lack of access to funding. This situation only started to change in June, as the recovery in the freight markets prompted carriers and some non-operating owners to return to the yards.

It added that although the orderbook will not return to 2007 when it reached a peak of 64% of the fleet, its size is expected to remain in the 25-30% range next year, if present interest levels are maintained," said the report.

Lower prices - 20-30% below 2007 highs - is another reason for the acceleration in orders, said Alphaliner, which estimates that 86 ships, or 530,000 TEU, have been ordered between January and October, with most of the action since June, noting the big orders from Evergreen, APL and Hamburg Sud, augmented by smaller ones from feeders and non-operating owners.

But with CSCL, Hanjin and the Shipping Corp of India having announced containership fleet expansions, Alphaliner now expects 250,000 TEU more to be ordered before the end of the year. – Source Shipping Gazette