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Carriers favour multipurpose vessels to close charter market gaps

OCEAN carriers have been looking to multipurpose ships to cope with today's extraordinary demand and soaring rates, reports the Paris-based container shipping consultancy Alphaliner

26 November 2020 - 19:00

OCEAN carriers have been looking to multipurpose ships to cope with today's extraordinary demand and soaring rates, reports the Paris-based container shipping consultancy Alphaliner.

'The dearth of cellular container tonnage in the charter market is forcing some carriers to tap into the multipurpose market to cover their needs, targeting ships with good speeds and high container intakes,' Alphaliner said.



Charter rates for containerships have soared in the past few months and available tonnage has been in short supply.



Broker Braemar ACM's containership time charter BOXi index stands at 118.64 points, more than twice as high as year-low figures near the start of 2020 with rates continuing high across the board.



'It is now becoming the norm for owners to demand periods in excess of 12 months in all sectors,' Braemar ACM pointed out in a recent report.



Faced with limited options, liners are now turning to MPP options.



South Korea's HMM, for instance, has fixed the MPV Thalia, a 30,000 dwt multi-purpose vessel, capable of carrying 1,888 TEU for up to six months, according to Alphaliner. The Korean operator is also about to deploy a sister ship onto its liner network, while Indonesia's Samudera has taken the MPV Clio on a medium-term charter starting next month.



Other multi-purpose vessel owners are offering their ships to containerlines for hire amid an almost unprecedented supply chain crunch for the liner industry, which is enjoying high freight rates while battling severe equipment shortages brought about by strong demand, led by the United States.


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