Idle fleet back to more than 1 million TEUs

There were 296 unemployed ships of more than 500 TEUs with a total capacity of 1.02 million TEUs, equivalent to 5 percent of the total fleet, on August 8, compared with 261 ships of 906,000 TEUs two weeks earlier.

The number of jobless Panamax ships of 4,000 TEUs to 5,100 TEUs has hit an all-time high of 83 units, of which 82 are controlled by non-operating owners. The 2,000-TEU to 3,000-TEU sector with 55 ships looking for work. There are 18 ships more than 7,500 TEUs looking for work, of which five are controlled by non-operating owners. The current idle fleet is almost three times the 345,916-TEU unemployment figure of a year ago.

The number of Panamax ships in the spot market has doubled since April and will continue to grow as more vessels, ending their trans-Panama deployments, will be re-delivered to their owners in the coming weeks. With Panamax vessels being chartered at under $5,000 a day, some owners are opting to lay-up their tonnage rather that trade them at current market rates.