The amount of capacity on idle, unemployed containerships reached reached 718,000 TEU in mid-December, according to Alphaliner
, and "is expected to continue to rise until the end of March, as the current excess supply is aggravated by accelerating vessel deliveries due in the first half of 2014." Idle capacity averaged 595,000 TEU this year compared to 651,000 TEU in 2012, it said. The information service forecasts that the idle fleet will not be eliminated in 2014 and 2015.
In the most recent edition of its weekly newsletter, Alphaliner said, "Although demand is expected to pick up in April, as several East-West services withdrawn for the winter slack season are reinstated, it will not be sufficient to absorb all of the excess supply."
It forecasts that the world container fleet, with capacity of 17.3 million TEU at the end of this year, will gain 1.62 million TEU of new capacity in 2014 and 1.76 million TEU of in 2015.