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Deliveries of new containerships have hit 1.29 million TEU this year and will rise to 1.42 million TEU by January despite slackening demand on major trade lanes, according to the Shipping Gazette, citing the Paris-based consultancy Alphaliner.

More than 1.07 million TEU of new building capacity was delivered in 2009, falling short of the record 1.57 million TEU in 2008. Total capacity of the world’s containership fleet is predicted to grow to 14.3 million TEU by January.

“Fleet capacity growth is expected to reach 9.5 % after taking into account the about 180,000 TEU deleted this year, both through scrapping and the removal of vessels from the cellular fleet following conversion for other uses,” Alphaliner was quoted saying.

The report said about 276 containerships should be delivered this year, a figure comparable to the 268 units delivered in 2009. However, the average size of new ships has increased from last year’s 3,990 TEU to 5,150 TEU in 2010.

A record number of ships has been deferred or delayed over the past two years, due to the financial crisis. About 100 ships for 530,000 TEU delivered in 2010 were initially planned for delivery in 2009, while 65 ships for 435,000 TEU initially planned for delivery in 2010 have been deferred to 2011 and beyond.

“Net capacity growth is expected to reach 9.1% next year, with 1.40 million TEU of new capacity due to hit the water,” the report said.

Since the start of the financial crisis, order cancellations or conversions of containership orders into other vessel types amounted to 530,000 TEU, or 7.9% of the order book, at October 2008, according to Alphaliner records.

The report said new deliveries is expected to remain close to 1.4 million TEU for each of the next two years but the size of new ships will rise significantly.

The average size should reach 6,050 TEU for 2011 and 7,015 TEU for 2012 deliveries, as the number of new 10,000-TEU+ ships increases.

“Eight hundred and eight vessels above 10,000 TEU are expected to be delivered between now and the end of 2012, compared to 27 such units which have been delivered so far this year,” the report said. – Source: Shipping Gazette

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