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The global idle container ship fleet has barely changed over the past two weeks with unemployment still at a four-year low, Alphaliner reports.

There were 120 ships of more than 500-TEU capacity without work on Nov. 3, with an aggregate capacity of 226,000 TEUs, equivalent to 1.2 percent of the total cellular fleet, the industry analyst said.

This compares with 114 idle ships totaling 211,600 TEUs on Oct. 20.

Ocean carriers have managed to shift most of the burden of vessel unemployment to non-operating owners who now account for 95 percent of idle capacity.

Only eight of the 120 idle ships are controlled by carriers, and they are all long-term unemployed units that are effectively outside of the active liner fleet.

Four jobless vessels, owned by U.S. carriers Matson and Horizon Lines, are in the Jones Act reserve fleet, and four are idle because of financial problems of their owners, Vinashin Lines and HRC Shipping.

While the carrier-controlled fleet is at its lowest level since 2008, non-operating owners continue to struggle to find work for their idle ships, Alphaliner said.

Because of the overhang of 112 ships of 215,000 TEUs controlled by non-operating owners seeking employment, charter rates have retreated across all size segments in the past two weeks and likely will remain weak in the coming weeks as the market enters the quiet winter season.

Regards ….
Ace Logistic Services