Wave of vessel delivery and Chinese New Year lull help carriers keep loops staffed despite Cape of Good Hope re-routing.

In the first seven weeks of this year, no fewer than 16 neo-panamax container ships of 13,200 – 16,600 teu as well as one 24,000 teu megamax vessel have been delivered.

This newbuilding wave has helped some carriers to tackle the disruptions caused by the Red Sea crisis, Alphaliner writes.

The major operators in early December started diverting ships deployed between Asia and Europe via the Cape of Good Hope after Houthi rebels started attacks on passing traffic in the Bab al-Mandab Strait in late November.

After circumnavigating the entire African continent twice, the first vessels that diverted have now begun to arrive back in Asia with substantial delays.

These delays are challenging for carriers’ efforts to maintain weekly sailings from the Far East to Europe.

“At least two and preferably three extra vessels need to be added to each loop to guarantee all scheduled departures,” Alphaliner’s short statement reads.