Even though the capacity growth of the world merchant fleet was only 2.6 % in 2018 – the smallest increase during the last 15 years, freight rates and ship prices have come down to very low levels.
At the start of 2019, the dwt capacity on order is 4.2 % smaller than 2018. Consequently, the order book remains at a very low level in a historical perspective. Only half of the 287 yards worldwide engaged in commercial shipbuilding have received new orders in 2018, while 57 others received the last order before 2016.
The need to reduce ship emissions and to cope with the IMO sulphur regulations effective from 2020 is reflected in the newbuilding market: Over a third of all orders is equipped with a scrubber system, thereof 53 % of tanker, 25 % of bulker and 41 % of containership tonnage. Furthermore, around 14 % of the ordered tonnage is LNG-ready.
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