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The number of idled container ships, which has shrunk rapidly over the past year, is set to increase sharply through the fourth quarter as ocean carriers cull capacity on key routes, a leading industry analyst said.
The jobless fleet, which currently stands at 225,000 20-foot equivalent units, could rise to between 600,000 TEUs and 1 million TEUs by the end of the year, according to Paris-based Alphaliner.
No carrier has yet confirmed its new winter schedules but capacity cuts are planned as lines move to bring supply and demand into balance as cargo volumes show signs of weakening after surging over the past nine months.
The majority of the ships facing lay up are likely to be above 3,000 TEUs capacity due to the seasonal adjustments on the line haul Far East-Europe and Far East-North America services.
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