FIVE per cent of the global container fleet was idle at the end of 2012, or 297 vessels totalling 809,000 TEU, reported Alphaliner.
According to Alphaliner, the number of vessels of 3,000 to 5,000-TEU capacity to be idled increased to total 83 vessels of which 27 were carrier-controlled.
Chartering activity fell, leading to increased re-lets and impacting the number of vessels of average capacity 3,000 TEU being scrapped to 33 in total for the year, with eight in December alone, and more expected in 2013. Scrapping reached record highs of 2009, said Alphaliner.
Resumption of Far East-Europe loops began at end of December with Maersk resuming its Far East-North Europe AE-9 loop. An export rush before the Chinese New Year will keep the idle fleet steady but continued capacity discipline by carriers may see the number rise to one million TEU in February.