While few think current container demand levels are here to stay, there is as yet no sign of the trend tapering off, said Yorck Niclas Prehm, head of research with Hamburg-based Toepfer Transport.
Thus, cargoes continue to be 'decontainerised' into breakbulk modes and forwarders continue to charter MPV ships - when they can find them - to meet their container obligations, Mr Prehm noted in the shipbroker's July multipurpose shipping report.
Beyond container cargo spillover, demand for traditional breakbulk cargo capacity is recovering as Brent crude tops US$75 per barrel and oil and gas projects creak back to life.
Off- and onshore wind turbines, already a key breakbulk cargo, have become less attractive to bulk and container carriers able to earn higher rates with cargoes that require less handling and port time, carrier executives have said recently.
Analysts Toepfer and Drewry Maritime both expect the strong breakbulk market to continue through the summer, although noting that growth rates may slow. London-based Drewry predicts an average MPV charter rate increase of 5.2 per cent during July, to $9,400 per day, and saw June rates reach an average of $8,934 per day, up 7.1 per cent from May.