Major Ocean Carriers Struggle For Tonnage And Containers

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Tight availability of boxships and equipment, last seen during Covid, is replaying as more and more vessels reroute around the Cape of Good Hope.

Route Diversion 

Linerlytica’s latest report, issued yesterday, says the capacity of box ships diverted to the Cape route will pass the 5m teu mark within weeks, as avoiding the threat of Houthi attacks continues to absorb record new building deliveries.

Containership fleet capacity stands at 29.37m teu, and will reach 30m teu by the end of June. Although nominal fleet growth has reached 10% year on year, diversion to the Cape has rendered effective capacity growth on the Asia-North Europe, Asia-Mediterranean, and transpacific routes at just 3% this year.

Globally, effective capacity on all 33 inter-regional linehaul routes tracked by Linerlytica has shrunk 4% from last year, with reduced capacity deployed on Red Sea/Middle East/Mediterranean routes dragging down the overall average, despite the growth in the main east-west trades.

Demand for ships has filtered through the charter market, which, according to Linerlytica, went into overdrive last week. Liner operators have committed to securing ships at higher rates for longer periods.

Short Supply 

SeaLead agreed to charter the 2010-built 6,758 teu Racine from Danaos for $32,500/day for two years, while Hapag-Lloyd chartered Euroseas’ newly built 2,782 teu Leonidas Z for $20,000/day for 23-25 months.

The consultancy said: “Tonnage demand is still not fully covered, despite the high level of new ship deliveries, as the surging freight market is supporting the rise in charter rates in all segments except for the 1,100 teu and smaller sizes. Container equipment and prompt vessels remain in short supply. New containers produced in China are booked until the end of June, while charter rates are rising sharply for ships above 1,700 teu.”

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Source: TheLoadstar