According to liner shipping analysts Alphaliner, some 90,000 teu of cellular capacity was consigned to lay-up in the past two weeks, taking redundant tonnage to its highest level since last year March.

Significantly, the list of 208 ships, or some 673,000 teu, includes four containerships of 13,000 teu or over – two operated by MSC and one each by APL and UASC. The 13,892 teu APL Temasek has been at anchor since 10 August, a casualty of blanked sailings and service curtailments by the G6 alliance in response to weak demand from Europe for Asian imports.

In many cases the 13,000 teu type has become a second choice vessel for the four deep-sea alliances on the Asia-Europe trade as members receive more 18,000 teu ships from shipyards. And with more ultra-large 18,000 teu-plus ships stemmed for delivery this year, 2016 and 2017, it puts the 13,000-teus in danger of becoming unemployable.

According to Alphaliner it is expected that  more container vessels will join the unemployed fleet soon. “Weak demand across almost all trade lanes globally has taken a heavy toll on containership demand. On top of this, a constant stream of vessel deliveries continues to add to the supply side pressure.” It said that since the beginning of July around 480,000 teu of new vessel capacity had been added to the world fleet.