The pace of world fleet growth has slowed down with the fleet expanding by 3.1% over the last 12 months, representing the lowest level of monthly year-on-year growth reported since the early 2000s, according to Clarksons Research.
More limited contracting and lower delivery volumes combined with firm levels of demolition and non-delivery have limited fleet expansion which now “appears to be returning to its ‘pre-boom’ levels.”
Between the start of 2005 and the end of 2012 the pace of annual fleet growth averaged 7.2%, with 484 million gross tons ordered in just four years from 2005 to 2008.
Demolition was very limited over this period with just 23 million gross tons reported sold for scrap between 2005 and 2008, less than has been reported demolished in 2016 alone so far.
Overall, the world fleet increased by 463 million gross tons between the start of 2005 and the end of 2012.
At the start of October 2016 the global merchant fleet totalled 92,413 ships of a combined 1.2 billion gross tons.
Moreover, newbuild contracting volumes have now fallen to levels not seen since the 1980s with just 16 million gross tons contracted in the year to date, Clarksons said.
“There has been a notable slowdown in the pace of growth since the end of the fleet’s big surge. Today, recycling activity is strong, deliveries look set to slow and contracting levels are at their lowest in over 30 years,” Clarksons said.