Freight levels dip due to an increase in inactive box ships

  • February 17, 2023
  • News

According to Aplhaliner, around 6% of the global box ship fleet is currently idle, up from under 5% just a week ago and it is only the carrier-controlled small and medium-sized vessels that are sitting idle. As per the estimate, around 338 vessels totaling 1.48 million TEUs are now idle as cargo volumes, port congestion, and freight levels, and now reverting to pre-covid levels. The inactive fleet was controlled by 1,000 TEU to 2,000 TEU ships, with 74 idle vessels followed by a 3,000 TEU to 5,100 TEU range, of which there were 64 idle vessels
The vessel idling has increased across all ship size classes, excluding very large and ultra-large ships above 12,500 TEUs, where it remained somewhat stable, with just 31 inactive ships.

Idle ships are those that are unable to generate any revenue, such as those in-between service assignments for longer-than-normal periods, arrested, detained, abandoned, or idle for any other reasons. The Alphaliner report stated that even with slow steaming and the rescheduling of deliveries, the falling freight rates and crumbling cargo volumes continue to push the amount of commercially idle tonnage up. For now, the idle fleet is running slower than expected.

Carrier-controlled vessel idling continued to dominate the sector with an overall capacity of 651,488 TEUs, while the non-operating-owner idle tonnage stood at 84,651 TEUs.

Meanwhile, the ships in dry-dock counted 189 units, up 24 ships from two weeks before. In terms of capacity, the ships undergoing maintenance, repairs, and conversions only improved by a moderate 35,777 TEUs to reach 741,467 TEUs.