Far East-US east coast services via Panama boost demand for bigger ships


THE launch of six Far East to US east coast services via the expanded Panama Canal has given a boost to the markets for very large containerships, reports Alphaliner. 

More than 50 vessels of 6,000 to 10,000 TEU will be deployed on these strings, replacing 80 ships of 4,000-5,100 TEU. 

Activity in the charter market remains focused on the larger sizes, with a continued demand for neopanamaxes. Charter rates in these segments are slowly on the rise thanks to the decrease in the tonnage oversupply. 

NYK is reported to have fixed the 8,533-TEU ER Tokyo at a rate of US$9,300 for a 7-12 months charter. The deal marks an improvement over recent fixtures of comparable tonnage, generally concluded at around $8,500 per day.

Due to the demand boost provided by the launch of the new Asia-USEC services better days should come sooner for ships of above 7,500 TEU than for the neopanamax ships of 5,300-7,500 TEU.

Charter rates fail to progress in the classic neopanamax segment (5,300-7,500 TEU), even though the number of spot vessels has halved, from a high of 46 units in mid-April to only 23 vessels currently.

Among the fixtures reported, Maersk snapped up the 6,078 TEU sisters Conti Darwin and Conti Stockholm for 7-12 months at a reported $5,500; and the 5,576 TEU Diana-controlled March (Imabari Millenium) for the same period at a slightly higher $6,075. The three ships will join the new Maersk-Arkas joint service connecting the East Med area to the Black Sea.

The total capacity of the idle fleet globally shrunk to 1.005 million TEU as of June 13, down from 1.037 million TEU, as larger tonnage is coming out of the idle pool, according to the latest data from Alphaliner.

Source: Schednet

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