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Global idle box fleet is decreasing

by Port News Editorial Staff

The global idle box fleet is progressively decreasing. Over the past two weeks, an additional 65 containerships have been put on the market, with a total capacity of 155,330 TEUs.

This has been revealed by the market analysis company Alphaliner in its latest report on idle tonnage. On 14th September 163 containerships were idle, 21 of which are out of service for retrofitting work.

Unused tonnage has increased from one million TEUs last month to the current 644,293 TEUs, or 2.7% of the global container stowage capacity. The figure reflects the carriers’ intention to charter every available vessel to take advantage of the particularly favourable market moment, with daily charter rates that for small vessels, i.e. 4000 -5,000 TEU panamax vessels, have reached $20,000, 200% more than the market rate recorded at the beginning of the pandemic crisis.

Pushing up the freight rates for these ships is the increased demand for sea carriage on many routes, especially on the Pacific trade route and the one between Asia and South America, and the temporary lack of availability of larger vessels, from 6,000 TEUs upwards.

Recently, the Bright, a 2,708 TEU ship owned by Peter Dohle was chartered for two/three months by Maersk at $14,950 per day. This is a new record.

The Danish company intends to use the vessel on the transpacific trade route. It costs $2,000 a day to ship a 20-foot container between Asia and the U.S. West Coast, so carriers’ profits are guaranteed.

Translation by Giles Foster

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