2015 looks bright for panamax container ships, says Box Ships CEO

Athens: 2015 looks to be a good year for panamax and post-panamax container vessels, based on the performance seen in the last few months of 2014, the CEO of NYSE-listed Box Ships Inc has said.

“2014 was the first year with a balanced market since 2008 and the second highest year in terms of tonnage being scrapped,” Michael Bodouroglou, Box Ships’ chairman, president and CEO, said in the company’s financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2014.

“There is an upward trend in time charter rates across all segments, the idle fleet remains at very low levels and there are no newbuilding slots before 2017,” he continued.

Thirty-nine panamax boxships were scrapped during 2014, plus a further 15 post-panamaxes, data from says. New deliveries have been low.

Only one panamax of over 4,000 teu is currently in lay-up, data from Alphaliner says. Over 50 were laid up a year ago.

Bodouroglou said a confluence of economic factors will help the container market rebound further and should increase asset values and improve charter rates.

“This is exemplified in the recent fixture we concluded with the MSC Emma for one year at $13,500 per day,” he said today. “The company has set the groundwork to benefit from these improved market conditions and approaches 2015 with cautious optimism.”

The Athens-based company operates nine panamax and post-panamax boxships of between 3,400 and 6,590 teu, all of which are operated on short- to medium-term timecharters. Six vessels’ timecharters expire this year.

Box Queen (4,546 teu, built 2006) was timechartered to Evergreen Marine (UK) in January for a period of 10 to 20 days, at a gross daily charter rate of $15,000. In February, the vessel was timechartered with Maersk Line for a re-positioning trip to Asia.

Holly Birkett

Holly is Splash's Online Editor and correspondent for the UK and Mediterranean. She has been a maritime journalist since 2010, and has written for and edited several trade publications. She is currently studying for membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. In 2013, Holly won the Seahorse Club's Social Media Journalist of the Year award. She is currently based in London.
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