Significantly fewer ships in layup

Ships in layup lose value and incur ongoing costs for their owners. Following a very demanding 2020, it is clear that activity picked up significantly in 2021. Layup figures have gone from 204 ships and rigs in layup in January 2021, to 86 ships and rigs in layup in January 2022. This is significantly better than the forecast from last year’s survey, where shipping companies stated that they expected to have 108 ships and rigs in layup by the end of the year. All segments still have ships in layup, which shows that the downturn has hit across the segments.

Layup figures in January 2022 are significantly better than expectations from last year’s survey. At that time, expectations were that 108 ships and rigs would be in layup by the end of the year, which meant cutting layup figures roughly in half. Shipping companies now report 86 ships and rigs in layup. This indicates that 2021 could offer a better market situation than the shipping companies expected.

Offshore service shipping companies still report high layup figures. Sixty-two offshore service vessels are in layup, 52 of them in Norway and ten abroad. This is a significant decrease from last year, when 144 offshore service vessels were in layup. The situation is also better than the offshore service companies expected in 2021. Last year, they stated that by the end of 2021, they expected to have 92 vessels in layup, significantly higher than the 62 vessels currently laid up. 

Rig companies have also significantly reduced their layup numbers. Rig companies entered 2021 with 23 ships in layup. The expectation that by the end of the year there would be 13 rigs in layup has proven to be accurate.

Deep sea shipowners also have ships in layup. As of January 2022, deep sea shipowners had a total of four vessels in layup. This is a significant reduction from last year, when this segment had 22 vessels in layup. This reflects the current strong deep sea market.

Short sea shipowners have seven vessels in layup. These ships are exclusively related to passenger transport, and indicate how demanding the market has been for the passenger ship companies the last two years.

Further reduction in layup figures anticipated

All segments expect a further reduction in layup figures in 2022. In total, shipping companies expect layup to be reduced by more than a third. In particular offshore reports significant and positive expectations for 2022. Passenger shipowners expect that only one ship will be in layup by the end of 2022.

Within offshore service, it is expected that 16 vessels will be taken out of layup, a decrease from 62 vessels to 46 vessels. Among rig companies, there is an expectation that nine rigs will be taken out of layup, lowering the number from 13 to four rigs in layup. Some of this reduction can be explained by the fact that tonnage is being removed from the market through recycling, and that the companies have sold tonnage.

Continued recycling offshore

Ten percent of shipping companies state that they have plans to recycle ships or rigs in 2022. The highest number of ships planned for recycling is found in offshore service. Here plans entail recycling of a total of 18 ships. One rig and four deep sea vessels are also scheduled for recycling in 2022. At the opposite end of the scale, no short sea shipping companies plan to recycle ships in 2022. Nor are any passenger ships scheduled for recycling in 2022.

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