Covid-19 leads to record level of inactive container tonnage

Covid-19 and its impact on Chinese imports and exports has resulted in a new record for the amount of global inactive container tonnage.

The previous highs had been seen in 2009 in the wake of the global financial crisis, and in 2016 in the aftermath of the Hanjin Shipping collapse.

Data from Alphaliner has indicated that, as of the weekend before last, the inactive liner fleet had reached 2.04m teu, smashing the previous record of 1.59m teu (set four years ago after South Korea-based Hanjin went bankrupt), while a high of 1.52m teu was recorded in 2009.

The 8.8% of idled fleet today as of February 15th was lower than the 2009 record of 11.7%, because the total registered fleet then was 13.02m teu, compared to 23.27m teu today.

More than one in two carrier departures from Asia to North Europe were being cancelled earlier this month.