Although the idle containership fleet has dropped below 500,000 teu it could pass the 1m teu level by the turn of the year as an onslaught of newbuildings hits the market analyst Alphaliner warns.

he idle containership fleet stood at 472,995 teu as of 24 July the first time it had dropped below the 500,000 teu capacity level in two years Alphaliner reported in its weekly newsletter.

The current good news was tempered though by the fact newbuilds in the 14,000 – 21,000 teu range would continue to be delivered at one a week over the summer period.

“During the first six months of this year, 26 ships of over 14,000 teu have been delivered, and a further dozen newbuildings of this size are expected to join before the annual low season begins in October,” the report said.

In total over 700,000 teu in capacity is expected to be delivered over the next five months while just 150,000 teu is likely to be headed to the breakers yard. The net result could be the idle fleet rising to over 950,000 teu by the end of the year.

“Idle ships figures, which have fallen to 472,000 teu in the past week, are expected to creep up this autumn and they could again pass the 1m teu mark around New Year,” Alphaliner warned