Drewry said it expects the proportion of containerships and containers that are leased by liner companies to grow in coming years.
“As ocean carriers’ financial results are not expected to improve significantly before 2016, leasing will continue to grow, thereby creating opportunities for new financiers to enter the market. Although still some way away, the pool of large containerships available for charter will grow, with a wide variety of possible consequences,” the company said.
Drewry's observations mirrored remarks last week by Gerry Wang, chief executive officer of the containership chartering company Seaspan Corp., who said because the balance sheets of some liner companies are not as strong as they would like
, they may "make ship outsourcing a larger part of fleet modernization programs."
The London-based consultant said “the way that vessels and containers are being ordered indicates that ocean carriers are set to become significantly asset lighter during the next couple of years.”
Alphaliner’s list of the 100 largest container liner companies
, which is updated on a daily basis, today shows about 49.5 percent of the 20 largest container carriers fleet capacity as being owned and 50.5 percent leased.
Drewry said its records at the beginning of July showed “just over 64 percent of all vessel capacity ordered since the middle of 2011 has been placed by tramp vessel operators, and the proportion since the middle of 2012 is an even higher 65 percent.”
It said “this builds on a trend that started as way back as 2004 when the proportion of the top 20 carriers’ fleet that was chartered reached just 48 percent, and then climbed to 53 percent in 2011.”
Drewry added “the same trend applies to container equipment ownership, where leasing has also been growing in importance. According to Drewry’s latest container lease industry review 2013, lessors purchased 58 percent of all newbuild containers last year, as well as acquiring substantial older equipment from ocean carriers through sale and leaseback.”
For more on container leasing see the article "To buy or lease?
" in the August issue (pages 40-41) of American Shipper
. - Chris Dupin