I came across these incredible images taken at the beginning of the year in Singapore, simply illustrating the effects of the worldwide economic downturns. Which of course is heavily facilitated by shipping. I did another piece on the Philippines being a hot spot for laying up ships, but I think Singapore takes the cakes for the number of vessels awaiting work. According to Alphaliner, in mid March 2009, “the idle container ship fleet reaches 484 ships for 1,410,000 teu (11.3% of the cellular fleet).”
That must be quite a sight to see in real life, never mind the troubles ashore. Although traffic numbers are down, Singapore remains the world’s largest port, handling over 423 million tons of cargo, of which are 23 million TEU. That is a very serious port. ehehehehe.
Below is an brief article from before Christmas on the situation.
Idle ships in the 3,500-5,000 TEU range are expected to increase in number in the weeks ahead as more news of service closures comes in, said the Paris-based industry research and news agency.
While many more vessels are laid up in the 2,000-3,000 TEU range, most are between 1,000-2,000 TEU, and 50 ships are “believed idle in this size range, awaiting a charter”, said AXS Alphaliner, estimating the idle fleet at 150,000 TEU or representing around 1.25 per cent of global cellular tonnage.
Alphaliner recalled that at the deepest of the 2002 downturn, there was 180,000 TEU of idle tonnage, or 3.2 per cent of the then current fleet.