Robust charter market being driven by IMO 2020 scrubber refits
THE substantial number of ships taken out of service for scrubber refitting has tightened tonnage supply at start of the winter slack season in the container charter market, reports London's Loadstar
THE substantial number of ships taken out of service for scrubber refitting has tightened tonnage supply at start of the winter slack season in the container charter market, reports London's Loadstar.
According to Alphaliner data, there are 44 containerships, for a total capacity of 436,000 TEU, in dry dock for the installation of exhaust gas cleaning systems.
These will enable the vessels to continue to bunker with cheaper HFO (heavy fuel oil) after the IMO's 0.5 per cent sulphur cap on marine fuel becomes law in January.
'Despite the onset of the slack winter season on the cargo front, demand for container tonnage remains sustained, with activity in the charter market showing no significant signs of weakening,' reported the consultant.
Alphaliner said the highlight of the previous two weeks had been a renewed rally in demand for the 'classic' panamax sizes of 4,000-5,100 TEU, with a 'substantial number of fixtures concluded'.
As a result, daily hire rates for panamax vessels ticked up again and now stand at over US$14,000.
One broker told Loadstar he was working a young panamax 'on subs' at $16,000 a day, with the container line charterer agreeing to pay for positioning and some other costs.
Today's rates are a far cry from the bad situation that existed in early 2017, when brokers 'couldn't give away' panamax ships and owners counted themselves lucky if they achieved over $5,000 a day. They mostly also had to pay to position the ship and agree to the charterer's 'flexible' options charter party clauses.