Boxship sales, prices and charter rates surge

Containership sales have roared back as have prices for secondhand tonnage, while charter rates have gone through the roof in the topsy-turvy pandemic year liner shipping has been through.

Boxship sales have surged back to pre-Covid-19 levels, according to Alphaliner, with 22 ships sold per month in the third quarter. 2020 could be on track to exceed ship sales seen in 2019, the box shipping analysts noted.

Renewed demand has resulted in a recovery in prices with Alphaliner noting classic panamaxes have seen prices leap by up to 30% between the end of May and today.

Liners have been enjoying record freight rates on many tradelanes in recent weeks. The buoyant times have spilled over onto the charter scene too where rates continue to rise for all ship types on the back of an increasingly tight supply.

“In the larger sizes (4,000 teu and over) where the dearth of tonnage has become critical, rates are going through the roof, having increased by several thousands of dollars over the last two weeks,” Alphaliner noted in its most recent weekly report.

Classic panamaxes have seen new record rates achieved, with one 5,000 teu ship obtaining a “stunning” $25,000 per day, Alphaliner reported, the highest level for this type of ship in nearly a decade.

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.
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