Tight box charter market expected to get another boost from slew of new services

The already tight charter market for boxships is predicted to get another big boost in the next month as a raft of new services launch.

“In the next six weeks, a whole slew of new service launches which will help mop up container ship newbuildings and give a further boost to the charter market, as more than 60 vessels with a total capacity of 360,000 teu are needed to populate the new loops,” Alphaliner reported in its latest weekly report.

While the new services are likely to boost charter fees, Alphaliner predicted the expected increase in overall slot capacity from new service launches and capacity upgrades on existing services will put significant pressure on freight rates.

The Shanghai Containerised Freight Index (SCFI) slumped to a new 18-month low on March 16.  The composite index has lost a quarter of its value since February.

The most significant additions coming up will be on the Far East – West Coast South America and Far East – Caribbean routes, according to Alphaliner.

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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