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Container shipowners cash in on high charter rates

Container shipowners continue to see high charter rates, writes Alphaliner, reporting rates upwards of USD 200,000 per day in a few cases for short-term contracts.

Photo: Tyrone Siu/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

Container ships continue to be a major source of income for shipowners chartering out their vessels.

The demand for container vessels is far greater than the supply of ships, writes Alphaliner in its recent newsletter. In some cases, this has resulted in rates upwards of USD 200,000 for short-term contracts, according to the analyst firm, which doesn't add further details about the length of the contracts or the size of the ships.

"The market is still very much two-tier, with short employment being negotiated at stratospheric figures, up to USD 200,000 per day for some ships, while the more conventional 24 month and 36 month charters are commanding significantly lower, albeit historically high, rates," writes Alphaliner citing daily charter rates of USD 135,000 per September 7 for vessels with a capacity of 8,500 teu. 

According to the analyst firm, carriers should therefore not expect a drop in the charter levels anytime soon, "and are left with the choice of pricey and long-term charter commitments, or alternatively the purchase of tonnage."

Shipping companies such as Unifeeder, which doesn't own container vessels, has felt the drastically increased prices for chartering tonnage.

"We pay three to four times as much for a ship today than we did in the last half of 2020. The price hasn't just gone up, it's gone up drastically," said CEO Jesper Kristensen to ShippingWatch in June.

Accordingly, shipowners such as MPC Container Ships has seen a major jump in earnings this year. The shipowner made an upward adjustment in its second quarterly report.

English Edit: L. N. Barnes

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