Slow-steaming has reduced the problem of overcapacity

Container carriers' willingness to slow-steam since 2009 mean that the market is less overloaded than would otherwise have been the case, says Drewry in new analysis.

Photo: Maersk Line

Slow-steaming played a major part in the overcapacity-drama that has played out in the container market since the financial crisis erupted, according to a new analysis by Drewry, which concludes that slow-steaming means that there is less overcapacity than there would otherwise have been.

Slow-steaming as a factor has enabled more ships to operate on the same route as was previously possible, resulting in fewer idle ships than could have been the case. For instance, Drewry points out that before slow-steaming was introduced eight ships would be employed on an Asia-Europe service, while after the introduction of slow-steaming the same service can employ 11 ships. This is only possible because the ships' speed has been reduced from 24-25 knots to 17 knots.

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