Red Sea Diversions Cut Idle Boxship Fleet to 19-Month Low

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Wednesday February 7, 2024

Diversions away from the Red Sea in the wake of recent Houthi attacks have reduced the percentage of the global container fleet standing idle to a 19-month low.

The idle fleet dropped to 226,051 TEU of capacity across 89 ships in the past two weeks, container shipping intelligence service Alphaliner reported in its weekly newsletter. This represented 0.8% of total cellular fleet capacity, the lowest level in 19 months.

No ships over 12,500 TEU in capacity are currently idle, according to the report.

The container market had declined significantly in 2023 as the market normalised from its record profits during the COVID-19 pandemic. But most leading container lines have taken the decision since November to take longer routes around the Cape of Good Hope rather than risk the security risks posed by the Red Sea, reducing available capacity and raising rates sharply.

Bunker demand is also likely to remain highly elevated while the current situation in the Red Sea continues. GHG emissions, and thus EUA purchases to comply with the EU's emissions trading system, will also be increased.