A further sign that peak season has been a disappointment for ocean carriers came when it was announced that at the end of August 2011  the number of idle container ships stood at 116 units compared to 98 units two weeks earlier. Despite this gloomy situation, only two out of the top 20 container ship carriers have recently reduced their overall capacity. Indeed over the last six months the number of slots available to shippers has risen by nearly six per cent as new tonnage has entered service. As a result freight rates remain depressed although most carriers are trying to impose General rate Increases for September 2011 liftings. It remains to be seen if these rate hikes stick.

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