The car carrier market is witnessing positive trends as far as the demand side is concerned. This demand comes from the shipping sector. The U.S. is the pioneer with respect to car carrier; as it houses both – shipping of new cars as well as used cars. The end-users typically comprise car owners looking for relocation and choosing to have their cars shipped instead of being driven; and also the ones who have simply bought a car in second-hand market and want it to get delivered to their place.
The car carrier market, apart from shipping sector doesn’t seem to be growing much in the next 5-7 years; thanks to car sales reaching stagnation. Fleet size at the global level is definitely increasing; but operational limits is likely to keep it in check. The car carrier sector is heading toward adapting the fleets and services for meeting demands from vehicle manufacturers/regulators.
The carting capacity on the whole will be directly proportional to the vessel size; but the number of car carriers operating won’t be undergoing much of the change. As smaller and older vessels are getting phased out and larger newbuildings are coming into picture, the life-span of car carrier fleet would rise (It’s not even 10 years right now).
Efforts are being made to enhance the operational efficiencies of fleets; with “Hoegh Autoliners six 8,500 ceu “New Horizon”-class vessels having a greater beam width. The APAC, especially Japan, has its car owners vying for eco-friendly options to drive the car carriers; inclusive of usage of solar panels atop upper decks of fleets for supplementing electricity supply onboard.
Inorganic and organic growth options are being explored by fleet operators. For instance, WWL is undergoing restructuring by getting closely tied up with EUKOR operation. The former one intends achievement of $100 million with respect to energy savings by the end of 2019.