The over-supplied container shipping sector, which recently surpassed a global fleet capacity of 20 million TEU, may be tipped over the edge if companies start playing catch-up with large vessel orders.
Drewry's graph (below) shows the extent of the problem as the sector is expected to gain an additional 3 million TEU by the end of 2020, with 40% of new deliveries in the 18,000-plus TEU range delivered before 2019.
Drewry stated: “Adding even more ships to this top-heavy pool will make the task of deployment and cascading harder than it already is.
“How much damage these ships might do to the supply and demand balance will depend on the prevailing conditions at the time of their delivery.
“We assume they will arrive after 2019 when the order book will have mostly played out, while increasing cargo flows and greater scraping could also mitigate their impact.
“Yet, while these ships on their own will not significantly alter the supply-demand dynamics, it will become more of a problem for the industry if herd mentality kicks in and others follow.”
Drewry said that the unconfirmed CMA CGM order suggested that some carriers are being driven by growing market share after the recent industry trend of paying off debt.
It concluded: “As compelling as the individual case may be, no carrier operates in a bubble and should this order become reality there could well be some hidden costs that CMA CGM and all of its cohorts will have to bear.
“From an industry perspective, there is simply no good reason to add these ships to already overcrowded oceans.”
Southampton Port, the UK’s third largest by container throughput, has taken delivery of a fleet of 13 electric vehicles to replace diesel cars and vans currently used by the port.
These are the first all-electric vehicles in the fleet of UK ports operator Associated British Ports, which owns and operates 21 ports in England, Scotland, and Wales.
Southampton Port is also looking to roll out further measures to reduce the impact it has on the environment locally over the coming months.
Southampton city had earlier this year failed to meet European air quality standards for emissions from vehicles, the port noted in a press release.
The European court of justice had in February, 2017 sent a warning to the UK government over breaches of EU legal nitrogen dioxide (NO2) limits and threatened to impose heavy fines, the Guardian reported.
Southampton car dealership West Way Nissan supplied the new cars and vans.
Director Alastair Welch, said: “As one of the city’s biggest employers and largest employment sites, we are keen to lead the way, where we can.
“The introduction of these vehicles to our fleet will not only contribute to improvements in local air quality but will also reduce running costs.
“We plan to monitor the performance of the vehicles going forward to allow us to track environmental improvements.
“I hope we are able to replace an increasing number of vehicles in our fleet with electric or hybrid equivalents in the coming years as the available technology develops.”
Andrew Robinson, Southern Regional Business Manager at West Way Nissan Southampton said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to provide the Port of Southampton with these vehicles and help it on its journey to be more eco-friendly.
"By making steps such as these, Southampton will get on the road to becoming a healthier place for us all.”