Ship orders world-wide have shrunk to the lowest level in 15 years. Indeed, vessel owners are struggling with excess capacity that has kept freight rates well below break-even levels.
According to marine data provider Clarksons PLC report released Friday, there were 3,200 vessels of a combined 81 million gross tons ordered globally in the first quarter, the lowest figure since 2004.
“The global order book has declined to its lowest level since the early stages of the shipbuilding boom,” George Warner of Clarksons Research said.
Crude tankers and bulkers made up around two thirds of all orders a decade ago, but this year the share has dropped to 42% as volatility in commodity markets and changes in global energy consumption have triggered shifts in ocean-going trade.