Expectations of another wave of container ship newbuilding bookings could push the orderbook to more than 1m teu again this year.

That comes despite the global container ship fleet rising to more than 30m teu for the first time, according to Linerlytica estimates.

Sixty-four container ships had been ordered, or total capacity of 543,500 teu, by mid-year, according to Alphaliner.

That may be a conservative figure: some estimates put the number in excess of 600,000 teu.

If most of the orders in the pipeline materialise, the tally could reach almost 1m teu in the coming months, MB Shipbrokers said.

TradeWinds has reported that shipyards are lining up orders for up to 100 ships, many of them in the 8,000-teu to 17,000-teu range.

The pending wave of orders follows three consecutive years of record deliveries.

Deliveries, which have totalled about 2m teu for the past two years, could amount to a record 2.8m teu this year, Clarksons estimates.

Fifty-one new container ships were delivered in June alone, Linerlytica said.

Deliveries in 2023, 2024 and 2025 are two to three times higher than the historical average, Alphaliner said, bringing the total number of ships delivered in the first six months of this year to 271 for 1.68m teu.

A further 1.49m teu is scheduled for delivery in the second half, with only minimal slippage expected.

However, the peak of the current delivery cycle may have passed, Linerlytica believes.

The second quarter will see an average monthly delivery rate of 315,000 teu, or almost two new boxships joining the fleet daily.

That will fall to 260,000 teu in the third quarter and 230,000 teu in the fourth quarter.

The decline in deliveries comes while a dwindling number of 2027 delivery slots is expected to push 2028 newbuilding slots ever higher, according to brokers.