Global Container Ship Fleet Eclipses 20 Million TEUs

With a record number of 214 new container ships delivered in 2015, the world fleet’s capacity grew by 1.72 million to surpass 19 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs). The industry placed orders for 255 more vessels in 2015, with an estimated value of $20.2 billion, 98 percent higher than in 2014. These orders were placed even as freight and charter markets crumbled under the pressure of the “severe” imbalance between supply and demand, with overcapacity weighing down freight spot rates throughout 2015. Spot freight rates from China declined 32 percent over the past 12 months and ship charter rates fell by 23 percent year-over-year.