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Home News International box lines fix Chinese domestic vessels as charter market soars

International box lines fix Chinese domestic vessels as charter market soars

Boxship charter rates have reached a two-year high and in a replay of the Covid-19
pandemic, Chinese coastal container operators are seeing demand from international liner
operators to charter their ships.

CMA CGM chartered Shishi Hengtong’s 2004-built 5,060 TEU ship Heng Hui 6 for 18 to 20
months, for US$28,000/day.

Safetrans Line, a China-based operator focusing on Russian routes, chartered Fujian Wan
Da’s 1997-built 2,105 TEU Wan Xing Da for six to eight months for US$20,000/day. The
operator also fixed another Chinese-owned ship, 2023-built 2,838 TEU Chang Shun Jin Xiu,
from Shanghai Changshun, for six to eight months for US$26,000/day.

China’s largest coastal container carrier, Zhonggu Logistics was also active as a tonnage
provider, reprising this role that began during the pandemic. The company chartered its
2019-built 1,912 TEU Zhong Gu Bo Hai to X-Press Feeders for three to five months for
US$18,000/day. Zhonggu also chartered its 2023-built 4,636 TEU Zhong Gu Shen Yang to
Global Feeder Shipping for six to eight months for US$30,000/day.

Consultancy Linerlytica remarked, “Charters rates and periods continue to rise with the
limited number of open ships pitted against sharply higher demand. Even the smaller sizes
below 1,200 TEU enjoyed firmer demand after their lacklustre performance of the last 3
months. Further gains are expected for all segments despite another 600,000 TEUs of new
ships due for delivery in the next two months with less than 10 of the new units still
available for charter. Even lower Chinese spec units originally aimed at the domestic
markets are finding takers in such a bullish environment.

“The bullish sentiment has also pushed charter rates to fresh two-year highs, with the
record level of ship deliveries doing little to dampen the buoyant market.”

Fifty-nine ships of 342,200 TEUs were delivered from the shipyards in April, setting new
records for both the number of new buildings delivered as well as the highest level of new
capacity added in a single month. Although nominal capacity has risen by 10.4% year on
year to reach 29.5 million TEU currently, effective demand has grown faster by 13.1% based on Linerlytica’s estimates with the shortage of vessel capacity expected to persist until October this year.

Martina Li
Asia Correspondent

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