Drewry: Panama expansion could shock container market

There will be a massive surplus of Panamax container ships between 4,000 and 4,999 teu when the Panal Canal opens its new and bigger locks in 2015. Ships must be scrapped regardless of age, says Drewry.

Photo: Maersk Line

Container carriers' continuing cascading of larger Panamax vessels of 4,000 to 4,999 teu to the North-South trades continues to contribute to the overcapacity, and the situation could become significantly worse when the expanded Panama Canal, according to plan, opens in 2015, as this would make even more Panamax ships superfluous, says analysts Drewry.

"The opening of the Panama Canal’s enlarged locks at the end of 2015 is likely to lead to a massive surplus of Panamax container vessels between 4,000 teu and 4,999 teu, many of which will have to be scrapped regardless of age. It will also be further bad news for North-South trades not using the Canal," says Drewry.

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