Grim boxship charter market forces owners of spot tonnage to get creative

Charterers of boxships of all sizes are in for a tough couple of months with analysts at Alphaliner warning the short-term market outlook is “grim”.

In its latest weekly report, Alphaliner stated that the boxship charter market is ending 2018 on a “rather uninspiring note” with continuously weak charter rates across the board, whilst the overhang of tonnage remains substantial in the classic panamax, 2,700-2,900 teu and 1,500-2,000 teu segments.

The approaching Christmas and New Year period has already seen concluded deals taper off and with Chinese New Year following on soon after in early February, Alphaliner is warning there’s little chance of a pick up before the second half of February at the earliest.

“Owners of spot tonnage will need to be creative to find employment for their redundant ships, until demand picks up again,” Alphaliner advised.

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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