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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Shipping capacity will soon exceed demand by 50%!

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The outlook for shipping lines is still extremely grim.

The European Community Shipowners Association has called for an urgent industry wide ship scrappage scheme to shrink the massive surplus of vessels. They have warned of an impending bloodbath as they estimate that shipping capacity will soon exceed market needs by between 50-70% as demand continues to fall in line with global consumption. Chang Yung Fa, the CEO of Evergreen, described the excess as "gruesome".

The quarterly losses** being reported by carriers in the past few weeks are massive. Here are a few:
Neptune Orient Lines-US$146m(last qtr) Forecast loss for the year-US$515.61m
Maersk Lines-US$405m
NYK Lines-US$198m
Mitsui OSK Lines-US$136m
K Line-US$155m
Hapag Lloyd-US$998m(for full year to June 30,2009)

Hapag Lloyd have been thrown a lifeline of US$467m by their shareholders and so has Zim who were struggling to pay for new vessels due out of the shipyards that they ordered well before the GFC gained momentum. Other carriers are trying to do rights issues to get the cash/oxygen they need to survive the downturn while at the same time banks are increasing the loan to valuation ratios they work on with ships.

To reduce costs some carriers are "slow steaming" to conserve fuel and travelling via the Cape of Good Hope rather than pay the expensive Suez Canal fees.

You would think that this carnage would translate into lower freight rates however the opposite is ocurring in the break bulk and container trades as carriers fight for survival. Rates and fuel surcharges are being increased or "restored" to use the shipping lines language.

As you can see I refer to some of the worlds MEGA shipping lines in this blog. What the....? Isn't bigger supposed to be better? So what is the future of the MEGA carrier?

More on that soon in a future blog.

All for now,
Brad Skelton
The Shipping Bloke

**All amounts converted to US$ at todays exchange rates and rounded to the nearest million dollars.


1 comment:

  1. Does anyone know of a monthly/quarterly even annual time series about capacity in the container sector?

    ReplyDelete