Cargo Ships and Cruise liners scraps

Cargo Ships and Cruise liners scraps

Caption: Cargo Ships and Cruise liners scraps

Cargo ships and cruise liners are being scrapped in growing numbers as operators hit by the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic look to turn their unemployed vessels into cash in the recycling market.

Car-carrying vessels and iron-ore haulers lead the burgeoning fleet heading for demolition. Cruise ships, still idled by the restrictions imposed at the start of the pandemic, are joining the lineup at ship-breaking yards, where the vessels are pulled apart for their steel.

The ship operators are trying to repair balance sheets that were battered by the global industrial downturn earlier this year, when factory shutdowns—starting in China and spreading throughout large parts of the world—brought a swath of shipping activity to a halt.

Vehicle sales crashed last spring along with the commodities market as China, the biggest raw-materials importer, closed down to fight the illness. Continuing bans on cruises has left dozens of luxury liners idle as storage costs have mounted.