Box ships are ‘idle’ not laid up

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Not one vessel in the world’s container fleet has been laid up as a result of the financial crisis but are in active waiting mode ready to respond to changes in the market situation, according to Gerry Wang, CEO of Seaspan Corp.

Addressing the Capital Link Forum in New York, he said: “All are in an idle position rather than being laid up. When you talk about the ship being deactivated, there are different types of layup and as far as I know they are in ‘active waiting’ because the cost of laying up the ship is very costly to reactivate.”

French maritime consultant AXS Alphaliner recently announced that the number of containerships currently on standby or lying idle at anchorages or ports around the world has reached a record 484 ships totalling 1.41 million teu in capacity. The figure represents 11.3% of the world’s total boxship fleet, marking the highest number of such ships ever.