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Pace of ULCS deliveries set to pick up in 2017

Pace of ULCS deliveries set to pick up in 2017

The steady flow of ultra-large containerships (ULCS) into the Asia-Europe trade will ease briefly in 2016, as the number of new deliveries will slow down temporarily before resuming its climb in 2017.

A total of 37 ships of 13,800-20,000 teu have been delivered so far this year, all of which deployed on the Asia-North Europe route. Another 13 ships within this size range are due to be delivered by December, all bound for the same trade, bringing the tally to 50.

For 2016, deliveries of ships of this size will fall to ‘only’ 37. This number includes 13 units of 19,000-20,000 teu, of which 11 for MSC’s account and the UASC's two remaining of its six A-18 ’BARZAN’ class ships of 19,870 teu. The 24 other units are 14-15,000 teu class ships for Evergreen, Yang Ming, NYK and UASC.

At 19,870 teu, the UASC ships are currently the world's largest containerships in terms of nominal container intake. Nevertheless, UASC officially only declares them as 18,800 teu units (see sidebar on nominal capacity differences).