The idled containership fleet has shrunk by 66,000 TEUs to 482,000 TEUs, or just 3.5 per cent of the existing cellular fleet, the lowest level of idling since December 2008, Exim News Service reports.
A total of 234 container vessels are currently idling, according to Alphaliner’s latest survey, with only seven units above 5,000-TEU, compared to 533 idled vessels, including 52 ships of above 5,000-TEU in June 2009.
"The peak season demand is markedly stronger this year than last year and the introduction of new tonnage so far has not had any negative impact on freight levels," the report explained.
The Shanghai Containerised Freight Index (SCFI) reached a high of 1,502 points recently, having risen by 50.2 per cent since the index was introduced in October 2009.
"Space on headhaul routes on most major trade lanes is expected to be tight over a few months. This has prompted carriers to introduce peak season surcharges (PSS) on a number of trade lanes in June, much earlier than usual.
"A shortage of containers has also led to the introduction of container imbalance surcharges. Such fees were introduced by some carriers in April," Alphaliner explained.