December 31 - According to the latest report issued by Alphaliner, the idle container shipping fleet reached 718,000 teu in mid-December 2013. That number is set to rise until the end of March 2014, as new vessel deliveries increase in the first half of 2

According to Alphaliner, demand is forecast to improve in April 2014 as several East-West services are reinstated following the winter slack season, although this will be insufficient to absorb the excessive vessel capacity.
And based on Alphaliner's two-year forecast, the idle fleet will not be eliminated in 2014 and 2015, as record levels of new vessel deliveries work to keep supply and demand out of balance.
Over the last 12 months, new vessel orders reached 1.78 million teu. This comes as the order book increased to 21.7 percent of the fleet after falling to a ten-year low of 19.4 percent in July 2013, said Alphaliner.  
Therefore, the surge of new vessel orders should keep shipyards busy into 2015, with 1.62 million teu expected to be delivered in 2014 and 1.76 million teu scheduled in 2015. Therefore, according to Alphaliner, new capacity in the next two years will break the previous record of 1.58 million teu delivered in 2008, barring significant cancellations or deferrals.
The full report regarding idle capacity can be accessed at the Alphaliner website, described here (