Dry Cargo

2020 set to mark the return of the mini-cape

2020 is set to be a year for the revival of the mini-cape after a decade in the wilderness. In a dry bulk report from brokers Braemar ACM, it has come to light that this year will see the delivery of seven mini-capes, also known as baby capes, something the brokerage believes is a signal of a rebound in investors’ interest in this size.

“After the first wave of Mini-Capes were delivered around 2011, comprising of a mix of designs, many viewed the class as a ‘failed experiment’: Over the early 2010s some of these ships did not earn premiums over Post-Panamaxes in line with their increased cargo intake. The following years saw minimal levels of growth in this fleet,” Braemar ACM noted.

However, lately the design has gained popularity. Increases in stem sizes due to the prevalence of kamsarmaxes and post-panamaxes in the market have added to these ships’ trading opportunities.

The 135,000 dwt designs have also found favour with shippers who in the past employed first-generation 135,000 to 150,000 dwt capesizes, which have now left the fleet.

“The port restrictions and cargo size requirements of this business (for example East Coast US coal exports and Japanese power utility purchases) have positioned the Mini-Capes well to fill this vacuum,” Braemar ACM observed.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. “Baby – Capes” may also suit for the increasing use of steel for recycling.

    Dag Georg Johannessen

  2. Maybe I should make myself more clear. “Mini – Capes” may be more attractive for freight of larger volumes of steel who goes to recycling. Could be changed “overnight” if the upward price of iron ore continues.

    Dag Georg Johannessen

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