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Which two types of ship are most popular in the new shipbuilding market this year?

Which two types of ship are most popular in the new shipbuilding market this year?

Column:Industry News    Date:2020/12/3 14:52:45    Viewed:

Below the 3000TEU of small container ships, gradually split with large container ships, become the main force of the new shipbuilding market.

A few days ago, OOCL announced the establishment of 7 TEU 23000 super-large container ships to optimize fleet structure and capacity, enhance cost competitiveness and operating efficiency.

This is the latest order for super-large container ships in 2020 and continues the trend of the new container ship market to super-large ships in the past few years.

What is worth noting, however, is that small container ships of TEU 3000 and below, based on ship valuation and new shipbuilding order data VesselsValue by shipping big data, have become the main force in the new shipbuilding market because of their increasingly important role in regional near-ocean routes.

Large and small container ships are preferred

With the increase of transportation demand, the improvement of shipbuilding technology, and the consideration of scale effect and unit transportation cost by liner companies, the trend of ship enlargement is obvious in recent years. Has the super-large container ship, has become the top liner company standard match.


VesselsValue statistics on new container ship types between 2015 and 2020 show that from 2015 onwards, large container ship orders of more than 10000 TEU, including 15000~24000 TEU super large container ships and 10000 new Panama container ships of 15000 TEU, account for a considerable proportion of all new container ship orders.

On the other hand, new shipbuilding orders for small vessels, such as sub-Panama type ,1250~2000 TEU, and feeder container ships of 500~1250 TEU, have also remained high. Especially since 2018, new shipbuilding orders for such ships account for more than large ships.

From the current development trend of the global container fleet, super-large container ships have been at the forefront of growth and expansion, while smaller container ships below 3000 TEU still play an important role in the near-ocean routes. With the growth of regional market demand, began to show a rapid growth trend.

In addition, according to the asset value forecast of container ships, the growth of assets of flexible and feeder container ships is very strong, and assets are expected to increase by about 30% in the next four years.


This is mainly due to strong demand in China and the Asian regional market as a whole, and the high consumer confidence in Europe.

At the same time, Africa's trade is expected to continue strong growth, Latin American trade is expected to rebound next year. This all brings good to the small container ship transportation market.

As a result, the delivery of small container ships will remain high while their asset values will be strong.

New orders fell to their lowest level in 20 years

Since 2010, the size of the container fleet has continued to increase with the launch of oversized container ships and smaller feeder container ships.

But in 2020, affected by the new crown pneumonia epidemic, the global economy suffered heavy losses, market uncertainty increased. In this context, liner companies are more cautious in operating, and the willingness to book new ships has declined significantly.

Data show that the number of new container ship orders dropped significantly from January to October 2020 to less than 50, reaching its lowest level in 20 years. The new orders for 2020 are almost 10000 TEU or more large container ships and less than 3000 TEU smaller container ships.


Capacity "brakes" may help stabilize the size of the global fleet and maintain a healthier market supply and demand relationship, thus benefiting liner companies.

Planned delivery capacity, in 2020, there are 201 container ships delivered, of which 72% are small container ships below 3000 TEU ,25% are large container ships above 10000 TEU, and the rest are medium container ships.


Expect the planned delivery of container ships between 2020 and 2024 to be dominated by small container ships below 3000 TEU. In particular, new ships of this size, ordered in 2018 and 2019, will begin centralized delivery, and 2021 is expected to usher in a peak delivery of small container ships.

And in the past 15 years, the number of small container ships below 3000 TEU is obviously insufficient. The average age of small container ships below 3000 TEU is on the high side, most of which are concentrated in 10~15 years.


Among the ships below 5500 TEU in the world, only 27% of the ships are 10 years old or less, and most of the ships are old non-energy-saving ships.

With the renewal of this capacity, the number of new ships has steadily increased, and the average age of the fleet will be lowered in the next few years.

Different Capacity Strategies of Liner Companies

Liner companies also have different options for making new ship strategies.

Maersk CEO Soren has made clear that Maersk has no plans for a new ship in the short term. He also said that, as it was not possible to determine which fuel would be used from 2030, there was a technical risk of ordering new ships now.

Maersk's decision is also related to market prospects. Although volume is expected to be in the growth path for the next few years ,2021 volume may be comparable to 2019, that is ,4%~5% higher than this year.


Maersk's capacity in 2019 is enough to support its current volume. Therefore ,2021, its capacity level can still meet transport demand.

But maersk also said it could replace smaller old ships.

Unlike Maersk's "brakes" on the capacity track, Mediterranean shipping is actively expanding its fleet.

According to incomplete statistics, Mediterranean shipping has bought at least nine second-hand ships in the past few weeks. Besides, it is also reported that the company will order five TEU 23000 super-large container ships and is currently negotiating with the shipyard.

The super-large ships are expected to be equipped with desulphurization units, costing between $145 million and $148 million, for a total of $890 million.

Cosco, now the world's third largest shipping capacity, has booked 12 TEU 23000 super-large container ships this year through OOCL, a new Eurasian weekly route.

The three liner giants in the top three capacity rankings have a clear advantage in the number of their own ships, have a considerable number of super-large container ships, and have also invested in small regional container ships.

However, different strategies to the capacity market will affect the future development of enterprises.

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