Activity in the container charter market remains high with one fixture in particular giving tonnage providers pause for thought.
After being fixed and failed in late March, the 2009-built, 4,253 teu Synergy Keelung has been fixed for a minimum 24-month period at $23,000 with Thailand’s Regional Container Lines (RCL), a rate brokers Braemar described today as “remarkably firm” given the fact that last panamax fixture managed to achieve a 12-month period only and the owner of the Synergy Keelung, Greece’s Euroseas, was able to achieve a 5% rate increase for a period twice as long.
“Not surprisingly most owners have readjusted their period ideas accordingly – particularlay for vessels in the 3,000+ teu segment, and given the low supply, other operators are likely to align with the new longer period trend,” Braemar noted in its latest container weekly report.
The latest report from Hamburg’s New ConTex chartering platform noted that box charter rate levels remain stable in almost all tonnage segments with rates for feeder ships in the Atlantic and Asia starting to rise again with owners succeeding in securing longer period commitments.
Charter rates rising markedly for all sizes of ships is reflected in the Alphaliner Charter Index, which is now, for the first time since June 2022, on a modest but visible rising trend.
“Demand is strong across the board, with the two liner titans, MSC and CMA CGM active on all fronts, including in the sale and purchase market,” Alphaliner noted in its most recent weekly report.
“Carriers’ resolve to maintain pricing discipline will continue to be tested in the coming months as charter rates and resale prices continue to rise, with vessel availability declining rapidly and carriers are showing renewed confidence to push ahead with new capacity additions as the summer peak season approaches,” researchers at Asian box consultancy Linerlytica noted in a recent weekly report.