By Kris Kosmala
August 31st, 2017
Does anyone still remember the excitement of Maersk’s EEE (18,340 teu) coming into service in 2015? Any passion still left in you about the 2017 arrival of the MOL Triumph (20,170 teu)? How about the reportedly imminent order for nine 22,000 teu vessels by CMA CGM? Worryingly, while the ordered vessels sizes are going up, the prices of those vessels are going down inviting even more future orders. How to reconcile this investment optimism with the pessimism of the last few years?
The ultra large vessels mentioned above have all something in common. Each one of those orders was justified by the Asia-Europe tradelane. If you consider the total volume of bilateral trade on this lane, you quickly realise we are about to approach a new phase of war for market share to utilize all of this new capacity. It is like watching the endless re-runs of the movie Hunger Games played with the unarmed assets worth about $150m to $200m.