From Mike Wackel (The Loading Star) –
Led by MSC and CMA CGM, shipping lines are once again scouring the charter, sales and buying markets by tonnage to increase capacity and increase their market share.
With demand prospects improving, particularly in the second half of the year, and freight indices picking up weekly, some airlines are using the huge cash reserves they have amassed over the past two years to strengthen their networks and gain a commercial advantage over more conservative lines.
According to Maersk Broker’s weekly report, the used container ship market has seen “probably the highest level of activity in almost a year” over the past two weeks.
“The main driver appears to be the race for market share for some of the largest liners, with MSC still leading the way with continued purchases,” it said.
“Whereas earlier this year we only saw MSC and various Chinese companies as buyers, they have now been joined by a large group of other liner shipping companies.”
MSC’s latest dive into the S&P market, adding to its fleet of more than 300 used vessels acquired since August 2020, is the 20-year-old 6,078 TEU Lisbonreportedly bought for $22.5 million.
Meanwhile, London shipbroker Braemar’s list of 13 representative charter dates for container ships, completed last week, includes seven vessels chartered by French airline CMA CGM.
“The excitement in the container charter market continued,” reads Braemar’s report today. It says that only the lack of open tonnage offers is preventing further devices, “although the tight supply side does not offer operators many opportunities to meet their needs”.
A broker contact tells The loading star They had “a long line of charterers” who needed tonnage, adding, “They don’t seem put off by the age of the ship or that they might have unexpired charters.”
Charters completed by CMA CGM included the 2,339 TEU rated machine built in 2015 Minerva, leased for 42 months for trading in the Caribbean at a daily rental rate of $15,000. It also managed to secure the 2,202 teu in 2017 CapeQuest for 11-13 months at a cost of $20,500 per day for delivery in North Asia.
OOCL has joined the capacity race by fixing the 4,256 TEU built in 2010 Androusa for 12-24 months at $23,900 per day. And Braemar said Hapag-Lloyd’s two-year charter of the 5,466 teu built in 2015 Broad Juliastarting in the fourth quarter at $25,000 per day was also confirmed.
According to VesselsValue data, the wide-beam vessel, owned by Danaos, is currently leased to Hapag’s THE Alliance partner, Japanese airline ONE, earning just US$19,950 per day on ships before their existing charters expire at elevated daily rental rates.
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