NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The dry-bulk shipping industry is facing a glut in 2010.And what the coming oversupply will do to shipping rates next year is anyone's guess -- and everyone's worry. By many estimates, there are more dry-bulk vessels on order now than there are ships in existence. How did it happen? Easy. The same reason there's a housing-stock glut in places like suburban Las Vegas or Tampa, Fla.: cheap and effortless credit plus human nature equals one potent (and usually disastrous) mix. During the boom years, with rates higher than a galleon's crows' nest, with financing as easy to come by as a gull on a slop heap, ship owners went nuts with their fleet-expansion plans. They ordered ships by the hundreds. Eagle Bulk Shipping ( EGLE - Get Report), for example, has 12 ships slated for delivery next year (though they're all the relatively small handymax-size ships.) Navios Maritime ( NM - Get Report), for another example, has six capesizes on order. All across the merchant-shipping world vessels are due for delivery -- mostly in 2010 and 2011, as you'll see from these dry-bulk shipping sector charts -- sliding down the shipyard ramps and into the sea, Champagne across the bowsprits. The day of reckoning is nigh. How will ship owners handle these (and other matters) in 2010? Everyone agrees that they'll cancel outright some number of newbuildings and delay others, the delivery dates pushed out by six months or a year or more -- a phenomenon called "slippage" in industry parlance.
Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.