More than 100 containership newbuild orders have been cancelled in the last 18 months due to efforts to slow fleet growth.

Global ship owners have also asked shipbuilders to convert nearly two dozen ships to other vessel types, liner industry service provider Alphaliner said.

The containership cancellations account for 6.7% of the total orderbook as it stood in October 2008 before the market slumped, it said.

It is estimated that in the last 18 months 140 containership orders of 436,000teu have been cancelled.

Ships in the 1,000-1,999teu range account for the largest share of cancellations, with 54 orders axed, Alphaliner said.

Chinese shipyards have suffered the highest number of cancellations, with 43 contracts revoked, followed by German yards with 37, and South Korean yards with 26.