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Major carriers rush to charter bigger ships to capitalise on rate surge

MAJOR carriers are rushing to charter larger containerships to take advantage of skyrocketing freight rates caused by a spike in demand across major trade lanes, reports London's Loadstar

02 September 2020 - 19:00

MAJOR carriers are rushing to charter larger containerships to take advantage of skyrocketing freight rates caused by a spike in demand across major trade lanes, reports London's Loadstar.

Handy 7,500-11,000-TEU ships have been in short supply since July and any tonnage that does become available is being snapped up quickly by energetic in-house carrier brokers.



'The top carriers are adopting a whatever-it-takes attitude to chartering at the moment, and they really don't seem to care what they pay as long as they fix the ship,' one London broker source said.



'And where they can't get a VLCS (7,500-11,000-TEU), they are even prepared to fix two panamas (4,000-5,100-TEU) to run in tandem,' he said.MSC, perhaps the most aggressive charterer in the market at present, has succeeded in fixing the 8,208-TEU Navies Utmost for a two-year time charter at a daily rate of US$22,000.



The 14-year-old ex-Yang Ming vessel commanded a rate up to 80 per cent higher than its owners could have achieved less than a month ago.



Alphaliner said the ship was a 'standard 8,000-TEUer, fitted with 700 reefer plugs', adding: 'Such tonnage was fixed until a few weeks ago at rates of $12,000-$15,000 for periods not exceeding one year, often on flexible redelivery terms.



'Both the rate level and the longer than usual charter period for this MSC fixture herald an era of higher rates for VLCS, although the demand could fizzle out ahead of the winter season,' said Alphaliner.


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