Global fleet to grow at slower pace in next 5 years: Report

ISLAMABAD (TLTP): Despite recent flurry of construction orders coming primarily in the containership and gas carrier segments, BIMCO – the world’s largest direct-membership organisation for shipowners, charterers, shipbrokers and agents – has forecast a slowing growth rate for the world’s fleet in the next five years compared to the last five years.
The shipping trade association in its new analysis of global shipbuilding points to the fact that despite new orders for containerships currently at a 14-year-high, global shipyards are under pressure. Based on the current pace of the market, BIMCO said that 2021 is heading towards being the third-lowest level of newbuilding orders in 12 years.
The trading world merchant fleet has a capacity of 74,505 ships across 11 main segments, according to BIMCO. In their baseline scenario, the total fleet is projected to reach 79,282 by the end of 2025. That would represent 6.4 percent growth over the five years, down from 7.4 percent in the previous five years.
According to BIMCO, the LNG tanker fleet currently consists of 593 ships, and 85 percent of the fleet has a cargo carrying capacity in the range of 100,000-200,000 cubic meters. In BIMCO’s baseline scenario the LNG tanker fleet would reach 819 vessels at the end of 2025. The range is between 799 ships in a low growth scenario to 839 ships in a high growth scenario.
The crude tanker fleet consists of 2,976 ships and 34 percent of that fleet consists of ships in the range of 80,000-120,000 dwt. BIMCO expects the fleet to expand in the longer term by just under three percent on average each year until the end of 2025, with VLCC driving most of the growth.
Cruise liners are also expected to see significant fleet growth by 2026. Despite being the second-smallest segment of the world merchant fleet by numbers, with an end-year 2020 total of 621 ships, the cruise lines are expected to increase with a compound annual growth rate of over four percent in BIMCO’s baseline scenario. Regardless of a low or high growth scenario, the fleet will deviate with 19 ships from the baseline of 763 ships in 2026.
Containerships are currently the fastest growing segment. So far this year, BIMCO reports 229 ships totalling 2.2m TEU have been added to the order book. Surging profits and high demand have driven the strong demand for new containership orders. However, it is unlikely that the segment can maintain this growth rate, said the report.