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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Lay ups could reach 1970s proportions: GAC

Dubai: Shipowners may mothball the largest number of vessels since the 1970s as global trade slumps, according to GAC Solutions Ltd., the world's biggest provider of services to the industry. About 1,000 container and bulk carriers are sitting at anchor with no cargoes, GAC Group Vice President Christer Sjodoff told Bloomberg. "Hundreds" of them may be taken into harbours for several months or years,” he said. There are about 10,650 container ships and bulk and ore carriers in service, according to Lloyd's Register Fairplay data on Bloomberg. Commodities demand is declining, with global growth likely to shrink for the first time since World War II, and trade may decline the most in 80 years, the World Bank said last month. The last time so many ships were mothballed, a process known as lay up, was during the oil crisis in the early 1970s, Sjodoff said. Some vessels still had no cargoes as much as a decade later, he said.  [08/04/09]