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Hyper-active charter market breaks records as prices soar

A HYPER-ACTIVE containership charter market is producing record rates as operators pay premium prices to secure what tonnage they can, reports Singapore's Splash247

25 April 2021 - 19:00
A HYPER-ACTIVE containership charter market is producing record rates as operators pay premium prices to secure what tonnage they can, reports Singapore's Splash247.

The Alphaliner charter rate index is at its highest level since 2005 while freight rates are close to record levels and the prices for secondhand box tonnage have shot up in recent months.



Ships fixed this month are creating new milestones - as well as potential millstones if the markets turn sour anytime soon.



Israeli flag carrier Zim has taken the 9,034-TEU Seamax Niantic for five years $50,000 a day for the ship, according to Alphaliner.



Zim, which relies on charters more than most, also reported to have fixed the 8,586-TEU sister ships Gulf Bridge and Mediterranean Bridge for an even longer period of six years at an unreported rate.



'There is no end in sight to the current strong market, with the squeeze of supply showing no sign of easing in the medium term, while demand remains robust across all ship sizes,' Alphaliner noted.



'Charterers will, at least until the summer, continue to struggle to find the tonnage they need to cover their requirements, having no other choice but to accept the terms offered by owners to fix the few ships that become available for charter.'



Splash reported earlier this week how the overall containership secondhand price index, according to Clarksons, has increased by 47 per cent since June last year. The price of a 10-year-old 6,600 TEU unit has increased by 138 per cent (US$29 million) to $50 million over the same period, whilst the price of a 10-year-old 4,500-TEU unit has risen by 268 per cent ($25.5 million) to $35 million.



French shipping giant CMA CGM has fixed six Chinese-flagged classic panamaxes ranging in size from 4,200 to 5,000 TEU that would normally operate on the intra-China trades. The ships have been taken for two years at around US$37,500 a day. CMA CGM has also just fixed the 4,957-TEU Wieland for up to 40 months at $40,500 per day, a new high for wide beam tonnage, up by $5,000 from the previous benchmark set at the end of February.



US carrier Matson has fixed the 4,380-TEU Dioryx for up to 30 months at $41,000 per day, also a new high for this ship size.


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