LONDON: The number of 18,000-TEU containerships is set to almost double by the end of 2018 from 58 to 105, and account for the majority of capacity on the Asia-Europe trade.
At present 58 vessels of 18,000 TEU or more make up 35 per cent of the capacity on the Asia-Europe trade, according to consultants SeaIntel Maritime Analysis.
With 47 more ultra-large containerships due to be delivered predominately in 2017 and 2018, SeaIntel assumes that with a five per cent growth of the Asia-Europe trade 18,000 TEU and larger boxships will account for 61 per cent of capacity on the trade by the end of 2018. SeaIntel believes the capacity growth will likely put both pressure on freight rates due to lower slot rates and put pressure on port and terminals on the Asia-Europe trade.
The ultra-large container vessels lead to an increase in massive bursts of containers to be handled at once, rather than being spread across the week, which can pose a major challenge to ports and terminals, and downstream on the hinterland, according to CEO Alan Murphy of SeaIntel.