Record orders for container newbuilds in 2021 – bank downplays fear of price war

Container lines have been ordering new ships like never before – a quadrupling of vessel orders from 2020 to 2021, reveal figures from VesselsValue. But overcapacity in 2023 and 2024 isn’t likely to lead to a price war with major rate drops, says analyst.

MSC, the world's largest container line, has ordered 66 new ships with a total capacity of 1.1 million teu, corresponding to 25.4 percent of the existing fleet, according to Alphaliner. | Photo: MSC

Shipowners and container lines have in 2021 ordered new container vessels like never before, as a reaction to a booming container market with high freight rates, great demand and lack of capacity.

555 new container ships were ordered in 2021, and shipbuilders are set to be extra busy as this corresponds to a quadrupling of new ship orders compared to 2020, shows a report by VesselsValue on behalf of ShippingWatch.

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