Where in the World Are Those Pesky Cable Ships?

By Rebecca Spence
July 20, 2020

Another quarter has come and gone, and much of the world is entering a cautious new form of normal. Currently, the fleet of cableships across the globe do yet seem to have returned to full steam, progress is still being made where possible. Currently, 15% of the vessels in the fleet are currently in transit, this decrease is 12% lower than what we were seeing in the beginning of the year when 27% of the 47 vessels were actively in transit. But one factor to keep in mind is that not all projects require as much transit time as others and are able to complete their tasks and return to post more often than others.

Another aspect that we have been tracking, is the speed and general location of each vessel over the last several months. According to the daily status tracker, a vast majority of vessels do not spend more than a handful of days actively moving long distances. Roughly 80% of the vessels in the fleet have been logging a daily speed of under 1 knot. There was an increase in speeds seen in the data pulled in May, that is likely a result of some vessels being called back to port to await instruction because of the Covid-19 epidemic. But these low speeds are not uncommon, as a vessel could be waiting on repairs, laying cable by ploughing, loading more cable, and countless other scenarios.

The regions of activity have seen some slight shifting in the last several weeks with the China Coast still in the forefront with a 1% increase and the Baltic Sea now at 10%, down from 13%. A considerable amount of activity in the Marmara Sea was seen in April and May, with 8% of the overall activity happening there. And the South Pacific Ocean was removed from the data as there were no vessels reporting to be there.

To continue reading the rest of this article, please read it in Issue 113 of the SubTel Forum Magazine on page 12 or on our archive site here.