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The inactive container fleet hits lowest level in 2020

The number of inactive container ships measured in capacity has for the fist time in 2020 dipped below 1 million teu, writes Alphaliner.

Photo: Charly Triballeau/AFP/Ritzau Scanpix

Container shipping lines have resumed several suspended services from Asia to North America and Europe, and they have furthermore reduced the number of blank sailings as well as implemented extra loops during summer's peak season.

These initiatives are evident from the inactive container fleet, which has dipped below 1 million teu for the first time in 2020, writes analyst firm Alphaliner in its weekly newsletter.

As of Aug. 17, the inactive container fleet stood at 223 vessels with a capacity of 969,000 teu, equivalent to 4.1 percent of the total container fleet.

The inactive fleet is thus 586,959 teu lower than at the latest count in early August, notes Alphaliner.

The analyst firm also keeps track of the charter market, which has seen rates increasing significantly recently.

Alphaliner's charter index increased 35 percent in one month from 52 to 70 points, and the index is therefore on track to regain what was lost when the Covid-19 pandemic started affecting cargo demand and thus vessel demand earlier this year.

"The outlook is today more positive than anticipated, with carriers reporting encouraging numbers in their latest financial results. Despite the lack of market visibility, created by the risks of a second epidemic wave and the forthcoming winter season, the omens for better days lie ahead," writes Alphaliner.

English Edit: Ida Jacobsen

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