Slow steaming in the containership sector could be approaching its maximum limitations given the weight of newbuildings entering the market, DVB says.

With the global average speed of ships in the sector now down at just over 14 knots the bank says there is "little room for extra slow steaming to absorb additional capacity”.

In a report into the health of the post-panamax sector DVB is also concerned about what toll slow steaming is having on modern vessels in the existing fleet.

It explains vessels ordered in the boom years and delivered in 2010 and 2011 have largely seen charters hold despite delays in their arrival.

“Assuming that the charter remains in place and payments are made on time, it will be interesting to see whether the assets are intact at the time of redelivery given the wear and tear in engines when such vessels slow steam for extended periods of time,” the report read.

The report is likely to be the last signed off by Riaz Khan, who is departing as DVB’s head of research after more than a decade with the bank.