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ID 90954168 © Michal Bednarek | Dreamstime.com

Ordering new ships has been an activity heavily freighted with peril over the last decade or so. Carriers have generally been highly wary of new tonnage since the fall-out from the global financial crisis, when an unprecedented decline in volumes coincided with a surge in new ships hitting the water.

It created a structural overcapacity in the industry that took years to recover from, and indirectly led to the bankruptcy of South Korean carrier Hanjin in 2016.

The key metric for container ...

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