Laid-Up Tonnage

At any given time, some ocean vessels are out commission from shipping freight across the sea. This has been common for many years in the shipping industry. For ships that are currently not being used for freight shipping, and are just docked (either temporarily or permanently), the term used to describe this is laid-up tonnage. Often, these vessels might just be waiting to go to better markets. After all, some consider these international shipping vessels to just be in reserve.

Currently, most of the laid-up tonnage is in Europe and in the Mediterranean Sea. There are numerous reasons that determine the amount of current laid-up tonnage. Factors such as geographic location, ocean freight rates and different shipping seasons play a big role in determining this. For example, there are a lot of vessels used for exporting goods from the Far East to the US for the holiday shopping season. Outside of this season, some vessels may not be in service because they are not needed.

Although they might seem like a waste of money, keeping these vessels docked actually saves carriers money. There is no point in sailing a vessel that is not in use. Plus it pro-longs the life of the vessel, allowing carriers to save money on repairs and insurance. Sometimes, in order for a vessel to be laid-up at a port, the permission of the Port Master might be required on a temporary basis. To learn more about laid-up tonnage and how it impacts the shipping process, consult your trusted freight forwarder with your questions.