The European fleet of feeder vessels of 300-1,500 teu is ageing at a fast pace with very little newbuilding replacement on the way. There is particular concern in the sub-1,000 teu sizes, where the number of new orders is next to zero, apart from a handful of contracts placed for some specific niche routes.
The continued disinterest by both Europe-based carriers and non operating owners for this ship class raises the spectre of a gradual extinction of smaller feeder vessels in Europe.
The European feeder fleet in the 300-1,500 teu sizes currently consists of 465 vessels of 417,300 teu. Its average age is just under 20 years. However, there are discrepancies based on the ship age, with generally the smaller ships being also the older ones.