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HANSA 11-2021

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Seadevcon 2021 · Windforce · Maritime Schiedsgerichtsbarkeit · Premiere für synthethisches LNG · Lürssen & Blohm+Voss · Deutsches Maritimes Zentrum · Flagship Founders · ShipMoney


MÄRKTE | MARKETS Container market stuck on the peak The buoyancy in freight and time charter rates ebbed in recent weeks. A major softening is not on the cards, though, most experts agree. By Michael Hollmann The mad pace of rate escalation in container shipping has lost steam – both in the spot freight market in liner shipping and in the charter market. Even so, port congestion and the existing cargo backlog may prevent any significant downward correction over the coming months. Route indices for freight rates are now moving sideways or slightly lower when it comes to spot bookings ex Far East. Levels for transatlantic shipments, however, appear to be firming still and so do contract freight rates which under normal conditions cover the largest chunk of business for liner operators. These trends became evident in opposing index movements recently, with the spot-oriented SCFI and Freightos Baltic indices showing some erosion while the more contract- or monthly tariff-related China Containerized Freight Index (CCFI) and Xeneta indices kept pushing up. German software provider Setlog, which tracks inbound freight bookings of more than 100 consumer goods importers in Europe, confirmed that freight rates have levelled off with some import containers ex Far East even moving at rates around 1,500 $/FEU lower than before. »Exceptions such as 20,000 $/FEU into Europe as witnessed during summer cannot be seen right now«, it noted. Counting the »congestion« impact On the transpacific eastbound route, spot rates were seen drifting lower at the beginning of October, with average rates quoted on the Freightos platform slipping from over 20,000 to around 16,000 $/FEU and then recovering to 17,400 $/FEU. Space and equipment shortages were seen easing to the extent that lead times from booking to loading dropped from several weeks to just one week in some cases, market sources reported. Still, these changes are not material and the majority of players in the ocean freight industry don’t expect a major correction in the coming months. First of all, a flattening or softening in liner shipping rates is a normal, seasonal occurrence for this time as peak trade volumes for Xmas in Europe and North America begin to ebb. All of the cargo is usually booked or loaded by Golden Week in China. This year, however, there is still a lot of pent-up demand for goods as inventories remain low after prolonged capacity constraints in shipping. The view aired by many analysts and economists including Germany’s renowed IfW Kiel is that cargo volumes are still outpacing vessel supply during October, in other words: lack of capacity keeps hampering trade. Latest cargo data (up until August) points to continued, solid growth in global container loadings at around +3 % year-on-year (adjusted for fluctuation during the pandemic). This may slow down a little as consumer spending diversifies from goods to services again, although the IMF forecast for world trade growth is still strong at +6.7 % for 2022. Meanwhile it has become clear that the real swing factor for supply/demand going forward is port congestion. As critical nodes of world trade, container ports across the world got clogged up with cargo that cannot be transferred inland fast VIEWPOINT »US bottlenecks may worsen before getting better« A return to normal operations in container logistics is not in sight, yet, according to Mathew Sarfity, Global Seafreight Director at Bremen-headquarted forwarding group Röhlig Logistics. Based in Chicago, Illinois, Sarfity expects continued port and intermodal congestion despite more flexible working hours in ports such as Los Angeles. Better planning, use of alternative equipment and routeing are key to rein in cargo delays, he says. Mathew Sarfity Global Seafreight Director Röhlig Logistics Port congestion, delays, chassis and driver shortages… When will the bottlenecks for container logistics in the US finally unwind? Sarfity: Bottlenecks at US ports/terminals and rail hubs will continue for the foreseeable future. Los Angeles port has just transitioned to a 24/7 work environment, matching their sister port of Long Beach, while a positive announcement is not expected to have much immediate impact © Röhlig due to the ongoing shortages of workers, drivers, and equipment. Delays continue to increase at other US ports so there is some thought that conditions may worsen before we see any significant improvement. What are forwarders like Röhlig doing to accelerate door-to-door shipments? Are there new solutions? Sarfity: At Röhlig we have strengthened our »Allocation Management Process« over the past year. This process is designed to provide us with advance notice of our clients’ demand, hold our carrier partners accountable to maintain their weekly space commitments and develop solutions for customers that are shipping in excess of committed volumes. Additionally, sharing frequent updates with customers and working on »creative« solutions that can include different equipment types, alternate ports, and transloading into domestic 12 HANSA – International Maritime Journal 11 | 2021

Orders & Sales New Orders Container After a long period of restraint, the strong charter market is now prompting NOOs to order small and medium-sized vessels again. More than 110 ships between 1,300 and 1,700 TEU are said to have been ordered since January, mainly without charter contracts. German owners are also active again with 44 ships since April. However, there are still no orders for charter vessels under 1,000 TEU, Alphaliner reports. Secondhand Sales Despite a lack of candidates for immediate purchase the market is quite buoyant as buyers turn their attention to vessels being charter-free in 2022. While prices climb further, MSC remains the biggest player, with CMA CGM coming up with numerous feeder deals. MSC recently secured the Panamax ships »ER Sweden« and »ER Denmark« and the post-Panamax »Conti Everest« from Claus-Peter Offen. Demolition Sales The scrapping market remains in deep sleep in the face of the still large tonnage demand. Only 15 ships with a capacity of 12,000 TEU have been sent on their last voyage during the year. All are from small segments below 2,000 TEU, Clarksons reports. This is the lowest level since the full year 2005, when 6 units of 3,000 TEU were scrapped. enough due to productivity issues along the logistics chain. Danish research firm Sea-Intelligence estimates that world fleet productivity may have been compromised by as much as –12.5 % due to congestion in recent weeks. Maritime Strategies International (MSI) puts the volume of tonnage caught up in congestion beyond what would be normal for this time of the year at over 1 mill. TEU (up around 20 % from equipment to speed up delivery times. We have also had success in securing additional carrier allocation which we have used to improve satisfaction levels from existing clients. US imports are once again the key demand driver for container shipping. What are your expectations for 2022 and beyond based on client feedback? Sarfity: Röhlig has been and continues to be in growth mode and we anticipate double-digit growth in 2022 despite the ongoing capacity restrictions. While we expect consumer demand to lessen in the coming months, we anticipate fairly strong demand from other industry verticals as there is a push to restore inventory and create »buffer« stock due to the increased lead time which will last most of next year. mph September) driven by lengthening vessel queues in ports across North America, China and Southeast Asia. Even on the assumption of a 5 % m-o-m reduction in congestion from now, the situation would not return to normal until the H2/2022. Panamax: 46,000 $/day for 4 years In the charter market, the upward momentum seems to have stalled as well – again a fairly common feature for any fourth quarter. However, despite the occasional reported fixture slightly below last done, hire rates are in general stable at multiples of those one year ago. Recent highlights included the fixtures of baby panamax vessels at $ 40,000 per day for 5 years (»Merkur Archipelago« to Maersk) and 46,000 $/day basis 4 years (»Merkur Horizon« to Maersk). In the postpanamax segment, a 6,900 TEU unit (»Cape Chronos«) managed to fill the time gap until hand-over to a new owner with a round voyage time charter at $ 155,000 with CMA CGM in the Far East. Fixing levels for 3,000–3,500 TEU tonnage pushed up higher as illustrated by the 45,000 $/day achieved by the 3,091 TEU »Daphne« for 36 months with Ocean Network Express in the Far East. Activity for 2,500–2,800 TEU ships was a bit more muted during and after Golden Week, with 36 month periods rated at mid $ 30,000’s to $ 40,000 depending on type. However, by the time HANSA went to press, brokers reported more fresh enquiry cropping up. Container ship t / c market 3100 2700 2300 1900 1500 1100 October '20 6,615 $ 20.05.21 Container freight market WCI Shanghai-Rotterdam WCI Shanghai-Los Angeles Tankers Baltic Dirty Tanker Index Baltic Clean Tanker Index MÄRKTE | MARKETS COMPASS 743 569 +21.8 % +17.3 % Shortsea / Coaster Norbroker 3,500 dwt earnings est. HC Shortsea Index ISTFIX Shortsea Index 4,500 23.75 2,192 +11.1 % +8.1 % -1.8 % Norbroker: spot t/c equivalent assessment basis round voyage North Sea/Baltic; HC Shipping & Chartering index tracking spot freights on 5 intra-European routes; Istfix Istanbul Freight Index covering spot freight ex Black Sea Bunkers VLSFO 0.5 Rotterdam $/t MGO Rotterdam $/t Forward / Swap price Q1/22 VLSFO 0.5 Rotterdam $/t ConTex 14,555 $/FEU 10,898 $/FEU TMI – Toepfer's Multipurpose Index 601 704 575 21.10.21 Month on Month 3,267 + 3.0 % Dry cargo / Bulk Baltic Dry Index 4,653 Time charter averages / spot: $/d Capesize 5TC average 57,374 Panamax 5TC average (82k) 38,737 Supramax 10TC average (58k) 39,860 Handysize 7TC average (38k) 36,804 Forward / ffa front month (Nov 21): $/d Capesize 180k 49,500 Panamax 82k 40,247 MPP October '21 15,673 $ +1.4 % -12.3 % +0.0 % -7.0 % +7.7 % +8.2 % +6.7 % +4.6 % +10.0 % 12,500 tdw MPP/HL »F-Type« vessel for a 6–12 months TC +11.3 % +15.4 % +9.5 % Data per 21.10.2021, month-on-month HANSA – International Maritime Journal 11 | 2021 13

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