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13 June 2024 - Year XXVIII
Independent journal on economy and transport policy
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FORUM of Shipping
and Logistics


Shipping and Shipbuilding Markets in 2004

I N D E X




The containership market in 2004
 


Huge orderbook 
Charter fortunes 
The charter market 
Slot charters follow the trend
Long term charters
The fleet
The operators
The second-hand market


After the 2001 traumas, the year 2002 was a year of convalescence and the full health was restored in 2003. As for 2004, it has been the year of the superlatives. It has witnessed a shipping boom unseen since the early 1970s oil-based boom.

This time, the international trade is sitting on a much larger base than 35 years ago, both in commodity variety and in geographical pattern. One country has however become an essential wheel: China. It is estimated that it is at the origin of one third of the world trade growth last year.

With its economy growing at some 9 % a year and containerised exports reaching a 30 % annual increase, China is itself at the origin of the containership shortage and the concomitant unprecedented levels of charter rates. But China is not alone to fuel the shipping frenzy. First, and it is important, it is inseparable from the purchasing power of the USA and of Europe. Second, there are other countries which are also witnessing high levels of exports, such as India, Thailand, Vietnam and Chile.

The rise of the Euro against the US Dollar and Asian currencies has also implications on the containership demand. It makes Asian products, and especially Chinese ones, cheaper for Europe. All along the year, volumes have soared on the Far East-Europe route, which needs more ships than the Asia-US route because of the longer distances.

Shipowners, liner operators and port operators have been taken by surprise by this surge. They can hardly cope with the volumes. Ships are full to capacity out of Asia and there are not enough of them to scoop up all the boxes that flow out from this continent. The congestion of terminals, especially in Europe and the US, compounds the problem, as they cause delays to busy ships and disrupt the tight schedules of usually well oiled weekly loops. This is a challenge for 2005.

In order to save ships, liner operators have rearranged loops and have cut capacity on the comparatively stagnant transatlantic trade in order to send ships on busiest routes. The optimisation of a number of services has also led to a better overall filling ratio, especially at each end of the loops (even if it means filling with empty boxes, which cannot be discounted as they have to be repositioned in one way or another).

Owners of hired container tonnage are rewarded above all expectations, with charter rates which are 50 % higher than the historical peaks. Leading liner operators have anticipated a further rise in demand for 2005 and beyond by chartering ships for periods much longer than usual and have committed themselves in huge newbuilding programmes.

During the second half 2004, there has been intense chartering activity for ships to be delivered in 2005 so that the pool of ships left available has shrunken fast, which could in turn lead to a further round of charter rate rises once the Chinese New Year festivities (February) end.
 

Huge orderbook matches strong trade growth

In early 2005, the cellular ships orderbook stood at 3.9 million teu, representing 53 % of the existing fleet. As big as it is, it does not seem excessive, although it looks like somewhat on the high side, especially for the year 2007. The huge influx of capacity could reasonably be absorbed by the bullish international trade, itself supported by a strong world economic growth.

The world GNP growth has reached around 4-4.5 % in 2004 (against 2-3 % for the long term historical average). Although a slight softening is expected in 2005, the GNP growth should remain above the historical average, and this performance could be repeated in 2006, in the absence of unpredictable events.

As for the international trade, it is estimated to have grown by 7 % in US$ terms during 2004 (against 4-5 % for the long term average). Alas no figures are available in volumes, as it is difficult to assess because of the wide variety of goods.

The observation of long term trends shows that the cellular fleet has grown, roughly, twice as fast as the trade growth. It means that if the bullish trade growth of 7 % recorded for 2004 is to be prolonged during the next two or three years, then it will generate containerised volumes needing to be moved by a fleet growing at 14 % per annum. This is precisely the rate at which the fleet is expected to grow during the next three years, according to BRS-Alphaliner forecast.

Even in case of a softening, the supply-demand ratio of containerships is to remain on the owners side, at least in 2005 and 2006, because of the catch up effect: the shortage which has developed in 2004 must be compensated by deliveries higher than the natural growth.

Given this, the capacity coming on stream should be swiftly absorbed by the transportation demand during the coming months, while a return to a balanced supply-demand ratio could occur in 2006. This should mark a turning point in box rates and charter rates.

The situation in 2007 and beyond is another matter. Some forecasters say that the world economic and trade growths are to remain sustained for the remaining years of the decade, although not at 2004 levels as a softening is expected. The question is: what amplitude will take this softening ? The supply-demand balance for 2007 is thus difficult to assess. Trade growth should remain however higher than the historical average and it is a reasonable bet.

As for 2008-2009, the orderbook has yet to be filled in. So, orders of containerships for these two years may flow in the coming months. Assuming that a 6 % growth in trade is maintained, almost 1.3 million teu should be delivered in 2008 and 1.45 million teu in 2009 only to maintain the equilibrium.

If the omens for the second half of the decade are good, a number of worries must not be overlooked, which could affect the container shipping market. They are :

  • the weakness of the US dollar and uncertainties on exchange rates,
  • a possible hard landing of the Chinese economy,
  • a slowdown in the US consumption of imported products due to a weak dollar combined with possible interest rate increases.

More immediate and foreseeable, problems will affect container shipping in 2005 :

  • the shortage of cellular ships,
  • congestion in ports, leading to delays, accentuating the ship shortage,
  • strain on inland transportation networks.
Charter fortunes

Operators are living a strange paradox as they are rivalling to fix ships at peak rates for periods of three or four years, without knowing what the future has in store. Actually, the charter market is not led by demand alone as far as long term expectations are concerned. It is also propelled by skilled operators who play the shortage game, locking up charterers for years against discounts on rates. These discounts remain somewhat limited when one considers the progression of charter rates over the past two years.

With ships sometimes hired at twice their total operating costs (including repayment of capital), owners enjoy an unprecedented situation since container ships started to be offered for charter, some 35 years ago.

Owners of containerships derive profits which are reminiscent of those accumulated by oil tanker owners in the early 1970s (Onassis, Niarchos, YK Pao, CY Tung and a crowd of other more or less known names).

Indeed, a B-170 locked for three years at $ 27,000 per day will raise enough profit to order a brand new ship of the same size!

With this in mind, it is not surprising that charterers look at buying ships. But with exceptional returns expected on hires, sellers' conditions defy gravity and buyers think twice before taking the plunge. Over the last 12 months, prices of second-hand ships have roughly doubled!

Only a few operators have taken steps in order to be less dependent on chartered ships. It concerned mostly MSC and, to lesser extent, CMA CGM. Both have bought second-hand ships as well as existing newbuilding contracts. Far behind, PIL and Simatech have also bought second-hand tonnage. In another deal, Zodiac Maritime has bought eight Panamax containership contracts for assignment to the associated company Zim (which has sold ships as well).

Although there is a trend among operators to order tonnage in their name, they still rely heavily upon non operating owners, which have relentlessly continued to book ships all along the year.

There has been indeed a significant regular drop in the share of chartered ships in the cellular ship orderbook, from 63 % in January 2004 to 52 % January 2005. The lion's share of this reduction concerns the VLCS orderbook: their chartered component has shrunk from 58 % to 36 % (thanks, for a great part, to MSC buying or exercising purchase options on chartered units).

Conversely, existing ships have been sold to non operating owners. P&O Nedlloyd has sold en bloc 14 Panamax, while Zim has sold five 3,000 teu units and Hanjin five 4,000 teu ones. All these ships were sold with charters back to the sellers. However, these deals have more to do with financial engineering than with market play.

These diverging moves led actually to a slight increase in the chartered component of the existing cellular fleet, which stands at 47.4 %, against 47.0 % one year ago. German owners continues to dominate the charter scene, as they control 63 % of the chartered fleet, dwarfing Greek owners (11.5 %) and Japanese owners (7.2 %).

A few operators are however taking advantage of peak charter rates. As strange as it seems, they have been accepting, if not actually welcoming, ever increasing rates for longer and longer periods throughout the year. Maersk Sealand, MSC and CMA CGM have been keen rivals in this race to land as many possible ships, at the expense of others, who are either hesitant or simply do not have a sufficiently strong financial base to follow.

These three carriers have swooped on as much ships as they could (not to mention their unceasing order waves of newbuildings) and are thus in a position to strongly improve their market share.

Actually, with these peak charter rates, we are on the eve of a new era of precipitating the concentration of the fleet in a few hands with a new sort of natural selection. This may explain why there has been no hurry in attempts to take control of other operators last year.


 

The charter market

We had speculated in our last annual report that the highest rates observed in 2003 could well represent the average rate for 2004. Not only they did, but they went much higher!

With ships as rare as ever, charter rates have exploded to levels which are 50-60 % above the historical highs observed during the summer 2000. Besides record rates, the year 2004 has been characterised by a lengthening of charter periods and by fixing ships six or twelve months in advance.

These two latter trends have dried up the pool of large ships (both existing and newbuildings) available in 2005. Charterers are now eating into the 2006 available fleet, and a market for sublets has started to emerge.

The rally on the charter market continues and owners are reaping the benefits of the shortage of tonnage. The lack of adequate tonnage to launch new intercontinental loops has thwarted the plans of several carriers.

In December 2004-January 2005, 4,000 teu ships were hired at $ 40-45,000 per day for 12 months period while 2,500 teu ships were valued at $ 35-37,000. Ships of 1,700 teu peaked at $ 27,000 for 4 years periods. 1,000 teu ships were negotiated at $ 18,000 for 6-12 months.

The tonnage scarcity and the high demand on regional and feeder trades have sent rates soaring for smaller ships as well. Cellular ships of 800-850 teu are not cheap, as they reach now the $ 15,000 mark for 12 months (against $ 8,000 end 2003). Modern ships of 500 teu ended the year at $ 9,000 for 12 months (against $ 4,400-4,800 during the three years pre-2004, and for periods of 3 to 6 months).

If top rates are good news for owners, carriers relying only upon chartered tonnage do not share the same enthusiasm. Among them are several niche regional carriers and feeder operators. They use small ships (under 1,500 teu), which until early 2004 could still be hired at fair rates, but have since reached such levels that services will have to be reviewed or cut.
 

Slot charters follow the trend

A little spoken aspect of the container trades concern slot charter rates. As ship charter rates have soared, so have slot charters. Some slot chartering agreements are referring to charter market conditions, and the slot charter rates are reviewed at regular intervals. Other ones are fixed for the duration of the agreement which is usually not more than two years.

Slot charter rates can be indexed on ship charter rates as well as other operational costs, such as voyage costs, including cost of bunkers, canal tolls or port dues. As the ship charter rates item is the heaviest one, it is then not surprising that slot charter hires have risen strongly, leading even to the non-renewal of some agreements.

In this period of tonnage scarcity, those who run the ships may find quite profitable to fill them at full capacity and may not wish to offer their precious earning space to others (which are after all rivals), unless they pay the price.

Operators are now very careful when it comes to enter slot exchange agreements with other lines, as they evaluate risks of failure of partners, especially in the case of small operators whose financial standing may not be strong enough to survive the high charter hires.

There has been during the past year a number of changes in partnerships and slot buyer participation, which may have been caused by tensions created by space shortage on a background of ship shortage and of peak charter rates. On the other side, several operators are teaming up to launch new services with chartered ships, thus sharing the burden of expensive charter hires while being able to offer the needed weekly frequency. Such a way of doing business is of course not new, but it is exacerbated by current market conditions.
 

 
Long term charters dominate the market

Periods of four years and more for 4,000-5,000 teu ships accounted for 86 % of the reported fixtures in 2004, against 49 % in 2003 and 17 % in 2002, according to a BRS-Alphaliner analysis. Smaller ships have also been fixed for much longer periods than the usual 12 months. Periods of 24 to 40 months for 1,500-2,000 teu ships accounted for 46 % of the reported fixtures in 2004, against 7 % in 2003 and only 2 % in 2002. The accompanying table details how the duration of charter periods evolved from 2002 to 2004.
 

 


 

The fleet

At 1st January 2005, the cellular fleet reached 3,362 ships for 7.29 million teu, in progression of 9.8 % on 12 months, a relatively modest increase as the average annual progression during the past 10 years has reached 10.7 %. The cellular fleet accounts for 89 % of the total fleet deployed on liner trades in teu terms.

The containership fleet counts 49 units of more than 7,500 teu and there are 165 more of these giants on order, some of them reaching the 10,000 teu mark. By the end of 2007, there will be enough of these leviathans to run 15 Asia-Europe and 15 Asia-US loops.


 

2004 deliveries stood at 175 ships for 645,000 teu (against 177 ships for 575,000 teu in 2003). Orders stood at 464 ships for 1,692,000 teu, which is significantly less than the record 520 ships for 2,123,000 teu ordered in 2003.

The total value of cellular ships ordered in 2004 reached almost $ 22.2 billion (using conversion rates at time of order), a figure similar to 2003, reflecting the steep rise in newbuilding prices ($ 13,150 per teu instead of $ 10,350 per teu in 2003 - raw figures unadjusted for capacity).

The total orderbook reaches 3.9 million teu in early 2005, representing 53 % of the existing fleet. It is dominated by large ships, with ships over 4,000 teu accounting for 74 % of the total orderbook. As for deletions, only five ships for 2,450 teu were sold for scrap last year.

The teu capacity which will enter the market during the three years 2005, 2006 and 2007 corresponds to 47 % of the existing fleet. In other terms, the fleet is to rise by almost 14 % per year, well above the 10 % average observed during the past 15 years. The cellular fleet is expected to reach 10.8 million teu in January 2008 (assuming no scrapping)


 

The operators

From 1st January 2004 to 1st January 2005, the combined fleet of the Top 25 carriers has grown from 5,955,000 teu to 6,640,000 teu (+11.5 %). Its share of the world fleet deployed on liner trades has risen from 79.6 % to 81.3 % in teu terms, confirming the concentration trend.

The five largest carriers alone operate 39 % of the capacity effectively deployed on liner trades.

The total teu capacity deployed on liner trades has grown by 9.1 % in 2004, reaching 8,168,000 teu st at 1st January 2005, against 7,485,000 teu one year earlier. In deadweight terms, the figure stands at 7.5 %, with 120 million dwt at 1st January 2005 against 111.5 million dwt one year earlier.

These figures take into account all the types of ships deployed on liner trades (cellular, multipurpose, ro-ro). The cellular fleet itself amounts to 7,290,000 teu (it represents 89.2 % of the total teu figure deployed on liner trades).

The two largest carriers, APM-Maersk and MSC contributed to 29 % of the fleet growth in teu terms, with 197,000 teu out of the 683,000 teu added (+101,000 teu for MSC and + 96,000 teu for APM-Maersk).

APM-Maersk became last December the first teu millionaire, as its fleet reached 1,016,000 teu on 1st January 2005. APM-Maersk controls Maersk Sealand, Safmarine, Norfolkline and APMSS-MCC. MSC comes at the second position with 637,000 teu.

These two leaders are however not among the top teu gainers in relative terms. MSC grew by 18.9 % and APM-Maersk by 10.4 %. They are distanced by four carriers (within the Top 25) which have logged growths of 28-33 %: CSAV, CSCL, Yang Ming and CMA CGM. Outside the Top 25, the emergence of two Chinese regional companies is worth noting: SYMS (+24.4 %) and SITC (+20.2 %).

On the mergers & acquisition side, no large mergers or takeovers occurred between rival carriers. The most significant one has been the buying by Costa Container Line of its compatriot Gilnavi. It appears that aggressive carriers (read: potential buyers) have found ways to increase market share in securing as many ships as they can, leaving conservative ones with what is left, i.e. not much choice and pricey.

On the other side, some potential targets have protected themselves from raiders, such as NOL-APL or TUI-Hapag-Lloyd, in steering clear of market listing. Despite this, there is still a choice of first class carriers which remain potential targets: CP Ships, Royal P&O Nedlloyd, Hanjin-Senator and Hyundai M.M.

There has been however important initiatives on the corporate side, such as Temasek Holdings, the Singapore state investment vehicle, taking control of NOL, parent company of APL, in what can be seen as a move to keep at home the Singapore historical carrier, until then listed on the local Stock Exchange. Other large deals concerned the purchase by Royal Nedlloyd of the whole stock of P&O Nedlloyd and the takeover of Zim by the Ofer Group.

CSCL made the news with its listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in June, while intentions to list Hapag-Lloyd faded away as parent company TUI changed its mind and preferred to keep the full control of its Hamburg jewel.

There has been numerous smaller deals, which are summed up in the accompanying table.
 

Operators : transactions and significant moves in 2004

Straight sales & mergers

  • Temasek Holdings (Singapore) has taken full control of NOL, parent company of APL.
  • Royal Nedlloyd B.V. (Netherlands) has taken 100% control of P&O Nedlloyd Containers Ltd (UK) through the purchase of the 50 % stake held by the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co (i.e. P&O Group). The resulting company, Royal P&O Nedlloyd Ltd, is listed on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.
  • The Ofer Group (Israel) has taken control of Zim Navigation, since renamed Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd.
  • Costa Container Line took over the deep sea liner trades of Gilnavi srl di Navigazione, the liner arm of the Grimaldi-Genoa branch.
  • The Carlyle Group has sold Horizon Lines to private equity firm Castle Harlan. - STX Corp. (Korea) has bought 67 % of Pan Ocean Shipping Co (Korea).
  • Neptune Orient Lines (NOL - APL parent company), Singapore, agreed to sell its 28.7 % stake in Lorenzo Shipping Corp to National Marine Corp. (both Philippines).
  • Neptune Orient Lines Ltd (NOL) has sold Neptune Associated Shipping Pte Ltd (NAS) (tankers & bunkering).
  • Eimskip (Iceland) and Faroe Ship (Faeroe Islands) have merged.
  • Euro Container Line AS (ECL) (Norwegian company co-owned by Eimskip and Wilson Line) took over Norwegian operator CoNor Line.
  • Rickmers Reederei GmbH & Cie KG (Bertram Rickmers Group), has taken over all of the shares in CCNI GmbH (Deutschland) from Compa''a Chilena de Navegaci'n Interoce'nica SA (Santiago).
  • Egyptian company MISR Shipping has been absorbed by its compatriot National Navigation Co (NNC).
  • Trailer Bridge Inc. (USA) bought 100 % of Kadampanattu Corp. (K. Corp.) from the Estate of Malcom P. McLean (USA)

Transfers and moves within operating groups

  • NYK and its affiliate TSK have decided to spin off their respective domestic liner service operations and related businesses, to set up NYK Line Japan Ltd (effective April 2005).
  • China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) boosted its share in the Shanghai Puhai Shipping Co, Ltd (SPS) from 50 % to 90 % held by other China Shipping units.
  • Hamburg-S'd abandoned its trade name Ellerman Line.

New operators of liner services

  • Manson Shipping (Taiwan) - services Taiwan-Hong Kong-Vietnam-Philippines.
  • Winland Shipping Co, Ltd (China) - services Weihai-Japan.
  • Dalian Beiliang Logistics Containers (China) - service Dalian-Weihai-Japan.
  • HAL Shipping (Halship) (Canada) - service Halifax-USEC.
  • Delphis NV (Belgium) is incorporated (intra Europe services).
  • AC Forwarding (ACF) and Hudig Veder & Dammers (HVD) form AC Ireland Line.
  • Black Sea Container Shipping Co launches intra Black Sea service.

Cessations of activity in liner shipping

  • CT Navigation (Taiwan) closed its services (Taiwan-Hong Kong-Vietnam-Philippines).
  • Hong Kong Ming Wah (HKMW) has closed its only service (Hong Kong-North China), marketed under the Chiu Lun Transportation name.
  • SPM Shipping (St Pierre & Miquelon) ceased its activity- service Halifax-USEC.
  • Armada Line closes its North Europe-Med service.
  • Blue Container Line (Greece) closed its services (Intra Med and Black Sea).

Significant other moves

  • China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) has been listed on Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
  • Norwegian shipowner John Fredriksen has bought stakes of 3 to 10% in Hanjin Shipping, Hyundai Merchant Marine, Royal P&O Nedlloyd and NOL.
  • EOX Group Bhd has been renamed HubLine Berhad.
  • The liner division of Unicorn Lines has been renamed Ocean Africa Container Line (OACL).
  • TECO Lines is created by Samskip and Estonian Shipping Co.
  • DAL left the West Africa trades.
  • Steamers Maritime (Singapore - Keppel Group) has sold its whole fleet of ten containerships.
 
CMA CGM Hugo
100,400 dwt, delivered in 2004 by Hyundai, owned by Conti Reederei, operated by CMA CGM
(Copyright CMA CGM)
 
The second-hand market for containerships in 2004
2004, an exceptional vintage! This is certainly true for almost all shipping markets. The year 2004, with no less than 265 sales of pure containerships (of which 44 resales of ships under construction or ordered) and 126 other ro-ro and multipurpose ships, compared to respectively 181 and 104 ships last year. Nonetheless this leaves a feeling of frustration for a number of buyers who were not able to achieve all their intended investments.

This frustration is caused by the evident lack of tonnage for sale, even at very high prices. Many owners, due to lack of prompt yard slot availability, preferred to go on the charter market for periods sometimes as much as 3, 4 or 5 years, but who can blame them'

A simple example illustrates the mood that reigned throughout the second half of the year: the owner of the m/v 'Lissy Schulte' (B170 - 1,730 teu, built in 1995) refused an offer of no less than $ 30 million and has finally been fixed firm to P&O for 48 months at level of $ 26,500 per day! According to our calculations the result of this charter is equivalent to about $ 35 million. We now understand why this ship has not been sold even at such a price level.

The other specificity of the second-hand market for containerships in 2004 is, without any doubt, the number of sales in the 500 to 2,000 teu size range, and more precisely from 800 to 1,200 teu. There were no less than 15 to 20 potential buyers who found themselves chasing the rare units being put on the market. There was again this year an outright winner in the person of Mr Aponte (MSC, Geneva), with a total of some thirty ships bought in 2004, to which should be added the purchase of some ten newbuilding contracts initially ordered by German owners.

German owners bought some sixty ships. It is interesting to note in this respect that it is virtually impossible to compete with a German buyer on a modern ship offered on the market when it is controlled by German interests. A good lesson in self-protection!

Also, whilst in the past ships already under long-term charter were gaining popularity amongst buyers, this year ships that were "time-charter free" were by far the most sought after. In the absence of charter free tonnage in 2004, a large number of buyers went after containerships still employed up until the end of 2005.

Despite the high prices paid, buyers had to be patient for several months before they were able to benefit from a chartering market for which they hope it will stay at least as good as today's levels. As to liner operators, purchases of this kind proved to be essential once they had to ensure operating the necessary tonnage on their regular services.

The principal "en-bloc" sales which can be reported this year are:

  • 5 x 3,500 teu and 9 x 4,200 teu (14 ships) built in 1991, 92, 93, 94 and 95 from P&O Nedlloyd to MPC Capital for a total of $ 660 million.
  • 4 x 2,824 teu Hyundai contracts for delivery between 2005 and 2006 resold by Erck Rickers to CMA CGM for $ 44 million each.
  • 8 x 4,250 teu Dalian New contracts for delivery between 2006 and 2007 resold by Bertram Rickmers to Zodiac.
  • 7 x 1,538 / 1,658 teu built between 1998 and 2000 by Jiangnan and HDW, from clients of Silver Line (who bought the entire fleet in 2001 for $ 100 million) to MSC for $ 130 million.
  • 10 ships of 369 to 1,012 teu, sold by Keppel Group (Steamers) to Interorient for $ 91 million. 
  • 4 x 5,050 teu, Hanjin shipyard contracts for delivery in 2006, resold by Rickmers to MSC for $ 63.5 million each.
  • 5 x 3,039 teu built between 1990 and 1992 by HDW, sold by Zim to Torvald Klaveness and Icon Capital for $ 35 to $ 38 million each, with a bare-boat charter back to Zim.
  • 4 x 2,394 teu (20 knots) built in 1994 in Spain, sold by Zodiac Maritime to MSC for just over $ 30 million each.
  • 4 x 2,524 teu built by Kvaerner in 2003 and 2004, sold by an Andreas Ugland-associated company to the bare-boat charterer of the ships, Hamburg-Sud, for $ 35 million each.
Number of pure containerships sold by size:
Less than 900 teu: 82 
From 900 to 2,000 teu: 83
From 2,000 to 3,000 teu: 42 
Over 3,000 teu: 58 (of which 28 contract resales)
Total number of ships sold in 2004: 265
Total capacity of ships sold in 2004:  500,145 teu

  Containerships under 900 teu

Together with the normal flow of activity this year, we have seen a search by certain buyers for ships smaller than what they originally needed. Prices for some ships have occasionally doubled between mid-2003 and end 2004. Even ships that can hardly been classified as "suitable" on this market, such as a slow-speed vessels or those with gears unable to perform a standard loading/unloading rate, have found buyers at more than favourable conditions for their owners.

Buyers based in the Far East, Germany and Greece were, in this order, the most active within this size category.

Interorient's deal of buying the feeder fleet of the Keppel Group for $ 91 million fairly well reflects the mood of the market this year. A fleet which has been on the market throughout the whole year 2003 and which was finally sold at the beginning of 2004. Since then, one can estimate the theoretical gain in the value of each ship to be at about 50 to 60 %.

Containerships of 900 to 2,000 teu

This has been by far the most active sector of the second-hand containership market! A cascade of sales, dozens of buyers, ships sometimes for sale, sometimes withdrawn, escalating negotiations with the seller rising his price at each stage of the negotiation'.. in short a happy shambles within the context of euphoric freight rates and second-hand prices.

This situation is particularly true since the summer of 2004. At that time buyers were struggling with the steady disappearance of charter-free ships. The few units still available in 2004 and 2005 will become targets for owners such as MSC, Zim or CMA CGM'

Containerships of 2,000 to 3,000 teu

This sector saw only a small progression this year with some fifteen more ships sold compared to last year. At the end of the year owners of newbuilding contracts for delivery in 2005 did not hesitate to ask for ' 45 million ($ 60 million) for a gearless ship of 2,700 teu. In short, the lack of tonnage explains some excess in ship's valuations.

Containerships of 3,000 teu and more

Fifty percent of the 58 deals done this year were newbuilding contract resales. This segment of the market was dominated by Zodiac, MSC and above all the German KGs, always very keen about ships of this size, which combine several favourable factors to investors: 

  • a market predominately stable and secure,
  • a popular size and already well-known in Germany, thus a relatively good market knowledge by investors,
  • a satisfactory "liquidity" of the assets and reliable charterers.

One of the rare pure second-hand operation done this year was the one involving the 3 ships of 3,187 teu controlled by Talcar, Israel, built respectively in 1986, 1986, and 1988 at a price of $ 80 million en-bloc with delivery in 2005 to MSC.
 

Demolition

Out of the 52 ships demolished in this category, only 5 were pure containerships, the latter totalling a mere 2,450 teu. The others were either multipurpose or conventional cargo ships. This low scrapping level is a direct consequence of the firmness in the freight market. Scrap metal price levels have been hovering in the region of $ 400 per lightweight ton
 

Conclusion

The world cellular fleet has increased this year by 9.8 % to reach 3,362 ships (7,290,000 teu). This evolution is in line with the annual average growth of the past 15 years. However we already know by now that the shipyards will deliver a capacity of 47 % of the existing fleet in the course of the next 3 years. This represents a growth of about 14 % per year!

The demolition market usually hits ships of 27 years or more on average, which in the best case will only shrink the world fleet by 3.2 % of its current capacity.

The question is therefore: will Asia, and especially China whose strong export industry has continued to expand, be able to absorb this additional tonnage? A large number of players, both on the industrial as well as the shipping side, believe that it will. It is however a very complex exercise to predict the strength of such a market. As we all know, to simply maintain it at its present levels, it depends upon China and its neighbours, whose growth in turn seems to be in their own hands.
 

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Understanding to design the entire supply chain of supply
Two days of strikes did not bring close to the parties that deal with the renewal of the contract of German port workers
Berlin
Ulbrich (ver. of) : a significant increase in wages in order to compensate for the increase in the cost of living
In 2023, out of 250 million containers shipped by sea, only 221 were lost at sea
Washington / Singapore/Brussels / London
33% of the containers have been recovered
CMA CGM will activate a seasonal service on the Asia-North Europe / Med route
Marseille
Expected deployment of seven 7,000-teu vessels under two rotations
German port firms call on the EU to focus on the competitiveness of European ports
Hamburg
Meyer Turku delivers new cruise ship Mein Schiff 7 at TUI Cruises
Turku
Has a gross tonnage of 111,500 tons
Project for the realization of a cruise port in Bajamar (Mexico)
London
Murano Global Investments announces the initialling of a non-binding agreement with a cruise operator
New attacks on ships in the Gulf region of Aden
Tampa / Southampton
Hit the container ship "MSC Talershi" of the Mediterranean Shipping Company
Evergreen invests about 500 million in new container ships and new shipping containers
Taipei
US Federal Maritime Commission launches public consultation on Gemini Cooperation
Washington
On routes with the US, the deal between Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd will take up to 184 vessels.
Navantia, Fincantieri, Naval Group, Naviris and Hydrus are due to bid for the new European corvette.
Trieste
It was presented as part of a second ban on the European Defence Fund.
I go Gateway esulta for the Italian leadership in the World Bank's "Container Port Performance Index" report
Go Ligure
Agreement for the expansion of the Russian ULCT terminal container in the Gulf of Finland
St. Petersburg
The annual traffic capacity will be quintupled
Competition for the realization of the new cruise terminal Donato Bramante of the port of Civitavecchia
To electrify the benches of Spanish ports, it is necessary to quintuple the energy needs of the scans
Valencia
Arana (Puertos del Estado) : With OPS it goes to double the energy consumption, going from one to two terawatts
Closed a bridge in the port of Charleston for the passage of an out-of-control container
Closed a bridge in the port of Charleston for the passage of an out-of-control container
Charleston
The crew managed to reclaim the government of the ship
In April the traffic in goods in the port of Ravenna decreased by -7.9%
Ravenna
In the first quarter of 2024, the decline was -6.7% percent.
Boluda Towage finalizes the acquisition of France's Les Abeilles
Valencia
It was ceded by the Econocom Group
ERFA, UIRR, Die Güterbahnen and RailGood call for a change of pace in EU policy for rail freight
Brussels / Berlin / Langbroek
Damen has filed for bankruptcy against the Romanian shipyard in Mangalia
Bucharest / Costanza
A thousand workers at the establishment have been placed in technical unemployment
Cruises brand P&O Cruises Australia will be incorporated into Carnival Cruise Line
Cruises brand P&O Cruises Australia will be incorporated into Carnival Cruise Line
Miami
The transition to March 2025
Maersk announces an improvement in the closing forecast for the financial year 2024
Copenhagen
Port congestion and increase in the nils between the new components that characterize the market
Projects to supply green e-fuel to shipping are in a stalemate
Brussels
A T&E study highlights that not a single initiative dedicated specifically to maritime transport is underway
In April 2024 freight traffic in the port of Genoa was stable and in Savona-I went up by 49.4%
Genoa
Wärtsilä entranches RINA and Gas and Heat in the project for green ammonia bunkerage
Genoa
An innovative bettolina will be developed
The management of the Container Terminal 2 of the port of Dar es Salaam officially passes to Adani Ports
Ahmedabad / Abu Dhabi
A joint venture controlled by the Indian firm acquires 95% percent of Tanzania International Container Terminal Services
FEPORT, necessary measures to mitigate the impact on European ports of inclusion of shipping in EU ETS
Anverse
Bonz : essential that the EU provides for an adjustment of its own legislation that damages competitiveness
Rail Cargo Group buys Dutch railway company Captrain Netherlands
Vienna
It has a fleet of seven locomotives employed in maneuvering and last-mile services
Sixty kilos of cocaine seized in the port of Livorno
Livorno
They were concealed in a container with a load of bananas
In the first quarter of this year, the traffic of goods in Moroccan ports increased by 13.3%
Rabat / Tangiers
A Tanger Med the growth was 14.9%
Hannibal boosts the frequency of rail links with the port of Spezia
Melzo
50% increase in rotations with the terminals of Melzo, Marzaglia and Padua
Two Chinese companies have been selected for the management of the new Georgian port of Anaklia that do not operate ports.
Two Chinese companies have been selected for the management of the new Georgian port of Anaklia that do not operate ports.
Tbilisi
The CCCC and CHEC engineering firms build port infrastructure. TiL terminalist company waives to submit a proposal
The cruise group Viking Holdings closed the first quarter 2024 with a net loss of -493.9 million
Bankrupt CIN, Honorary and children ask for plea deal
Milan
The judge at the preliminary hearing will assess the request on October 9
Quarterly decline in goods at ports of La Spezia and Marina di Carrara
The Spezia
In the first three months of 2024, containerized traffic in the stopover has increased by 10.8% percent.
In the first quarter of 2024, freight traffic in the port of Naples grew 1.3% percent, while in Salerno it fell by -2.0% percent.
Naples
In the first quarter of 2024, the export of G20 goods marked a conjunctural change of 1.9%
In the first quarter of 2024, the export of G20 goods marked a conjunctural change of 1.9%
Paris
Imports in decrease of -0.2%
In April, freight traffic in Chinese seaports grew by 2.7% percent
Beijing
The only volumes of cargo to and from overseas have increased by 8.2%
The Cypriot government has revoked the concession for the management and development of the port of Larnaca
Nicosia
Project worth 1.2 billion euros. Attributed to the Kition the violation of a clause in the contract
Wallenius Wilhelmsen sells his own ro-ro terminal in Melbourne to Australian Amalgamated Terminals
ABG Sundal Collier considers MSC's offer to be fair for acquisition of Gram Car Carriers
Oslo
The proposal is supported by the Norwegian Company's CDA
Boluda Towage will buy British truck ride-hopping company SMS Towage
Valencia
The operation will include the fleet of 20 naval vehicles
Awarded to Fincantieri Marinette Marine the contract for the fifth and sixth frigates of the class "Constellation"
Trieste
Rotterdam risks losing the role of main European bunkerage hub in favour of Tanger Med
Rotterdam risks losing the role of main European bunkerage hub in favour of Tanger Med
Brussels
New EU rules on naval fuel could cause ships to run the Asia-Europe route to refuel in Morocco
MOL will install a rigid telescopic sail on a second carbonaceship
Tokyo
The system has been allowed to reduce daily fuel consumption by up to 17% percent.
Restrictions on maritime traffic in the channels of Panama and Suez and in the Turkish Straits could reduce by 34 billion the world's GDP
Lectures
Study led by the Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climate Change
The Austrian Rail Cargo Group and the Serb Transphere constitute a joint venture
Belgrade
Will develop intermodal logistics solutions in Serbia and the Western Balkans area
In the first quarter of 2024, air cargo traffic in Italy increased by 16.8% percent.
Rome
Albertini (Anama) : fundamental to Italy attracting that 30% percent of merchandise that we lose today in favour of other European airports
DSV, Maersk and MSC among claimants to acquisition of DB Schenker
New York
Also offered by a consortium led by CVC Capital Partners and Carlyle
Spanish ports are benefitting from the effects of the crisis in the Red Sea
Madrid
In the first quarter of this year, transshipment containers increased by 18.6% percent.
Conftransport highlights seven topics to be addressed in EU to relaunch logistics and transport
Rome
Fincantieri creates a company in Saudi Arabia
Riyadh
"The aim is to create a strategic partnership for the development of shipbuilding in the country," he said.
COSCO expects a positive 2024 for the container sector
Shanghai
Waiting for a continuation of the growth trend in place for both shipping and production of containers
In April, container traffic in the port of Algeciras grew by 0.7% percent
Algeciras
More accentuated the increase (+ 7.4%) of the only containers in foreign transshipment abroad
Sharp improvement in the operational and economic performance of ZIM in the first quarter
Sharp improvement in the operational and economic performance of ZIM in the first quarter
Haifa
Growth particularly sustained in service markets in the Pacific and Latin America
In the next 12 months the value of noli in containerized shipping could fall to historic lows
Copenhagen
Danish Ship Finance believes that the effects of excess stir will become predominant
In May, container traffic in the port of Los Angeles fell by -3.4% percent.
Los Angeles
Waiting for the recovery of growth in summer
The assembly of Assagents will be held in Genoa on June 25.
Genoa
Event entitled " Mari inquieti. Routes and conflicts : the incognition of traffickers "
The work of consolidation of the first tank of the Darsena Europe has arrived at 60%.
Livorno
Completion is expected by the end of the year
Piacenza has resigned as Extraordinary Commissioner of the AdSP of the Western Ligurian Sea
Genoa / Rome
The subenters Admiral Massimo Seno
The means of the Trieste Coast Guard rescue a motonave of the APT Gorizia
Trieste
Rescued from 76 people on board
The Italian Sea Group has completed the divestment of the Viareggio nautical yard
Marina di Carrara
It was sold to Next Yacht Group for 21 million euros
Eni has ceded 10% percent of Saipem's share capital.
San Donato Milanese
The counter-value was about 393 million euros.
Restored full navigability in the access channel to the port of Baltimore
Baltimore
Assoports and SRM publish a new update of the report "Port Infographics"
Rome
Focus on maritime trades and fleets, alternative fuels and the employment of women in ports
Renewed the Board of Directors of Maritime Stations
Genoa
Indication of Edoardo Monzani's confirmation to the role of president
In May the revenues of Yang Ming and Wan Hai Lines grew by 46.2% and 40.1%
Keelung / Taipei
In the first five months of 2024 recorded increases of 27.0% and 17.5%
Port of Genoa, Spediporto and Fedespedi call for truck drivers to freeze congestion fee
Genoa
DFDS will sell its own mini cruises to Gotlandsbolaget
Copenhagen / Visby
The divestment will include the ships "Crown Seaways" and "Pearl Seaways" built in 1994 and 1989
Second report from the Fedespedi Studies Center on the Suez Crisis
Milan
In the Mediterranean, take advantage of ports closest to Gibraltar
Finsea renews its identity brand identity
Genoa
The structure of the group split into three main business units : Finsea-Shipping agency, Finsea-Land transport and Finsea-Global logistics
Accelleron has signed a five-year deal with Large Ships Fast
Baden / Genoa
Maintenance and assistance to the more than 100 turboblowers installed on the fleet's 28 ships
In May the container traffic in the port of Singapore amounted to 3.5 million teu (+ 3.6%)
Singapore
In the first five months of 2024, 16.9 million teu (+ 7.7%) were handled.
On July 17 in Rome, the assembly of the Italian Terminalist Terminalist Association will be held in Rome.
Genoa
It will be preceded 16 by a private event between networking and art
Last month Evergreen's revenue grew by 40.3% percent
Taipei
In the first five months of 2024, the increase was 36.2% percent.
Spain's Pérez y Cía. bought the EUCONSA compatril
Madrid
Is specialized in intermodal transport in bulk of chemical and petrochemical products
Suez Canal, continuation of discounts policy applied to ships in transit
Ismailia
Maritime traffic is still more than halved compared to last year.
Conference on the safety and optimisation of the flow of passengers in ports and borders
Rome
Organized by the ICSA Foundation, it will be held on June 12 in Rome
The significant increase in container traffic in the port of Barcelona continued in April.
Barcelona
Transhipment traffic alone has grown by 73.9%
Piero Lazzeri has been reappointed president of Sanilog
Rome
Walter Barbieri has been appointed vice-president of the fund for the next three years.
SAILING LIST
Visual Sailing List
Departure ports
Arrival ports by:
- alphabetical order
- country
- geographical areas
German L.I.T. buys Italian company Autotransport Pedot
Brake
The Lavis company (Trento) was founded in 1939
In the first quarter of this year, freight traffic in Tunisian ports fell by -8.3% percent.
The Goulette
In decrease both the landings (-6.1%) and embarkation (-11.5%)
Danish Scan Global Logistics has bought the Fopfloor Shipping & Logistics
Copenhagen
The company, headquartered in Prato, employs more than 160 people.
New Egypt-Greece-Greece-Algeria service of Tarros and Diamond Line
The Spezia
Will have weekly attendance and will be inaugurated on June 28
Port of Gioia Tauro, ok of the CSLP to the surgeries for ro-ro and ro-pax vessels
Joy Tauro
Approved the functional technical adjustment to the PRP
Uiltransport, towards mobilisation of Italian dockports from 17 to June 23
Rome
Recovery of purchasing power, security and greater protections are the demands
Michail Stahlhut (Hupac) is the new president of UIRR
Brussels
Jürgen Albersmann (Contargo) appointed Vice-President
Terminals Italy passes to the Logistic Pole of FS Group
Rome
Mercitalia Logistics has become sole partner of the firm
From 2026 it will become mandatory for the reporting of containers lost at sea
From 2026 it will become mandatory for the reporting of containers lost at sea
Washington / Singapore/Brussels / London
Kjaer (WSC) : significant progress in the safety of navigation and the safeguarding of the environment
Emiratense ADNOC Logistics and Services buys Navig8
Abu Dhabi
Transaction of the value of approximately 1,4-1, 5 billion
Part of the former Tubimar area of the port of Ancona will be reserved for the development of the nautical shipbuilding industry
Ancona
Approved an act of address
Tomorrow La Méridionale will inaugurate the Livorno-Île-Rousse ferry service.
Marseille
Expected three weekly departures
The first July Maersk will introduce a Fossil Fuel Fee
Copenhagen
The new superb will gradually replace the Bunker Adjustment Factor and the Low Sulphur Surcharge
Fit Cisl, necessary to ensure the full operation of the AdSP Management Committee of Western Liguria
Genoa
Bilog, the enterprises join the AdSP of the Eastern Liguria and the Municipality of Piacenza
The Spezia
Vittorio Torbianelli has been appointed Extraordinary Commissioner of the AdSP of the East Adriatic Sea
Rome
Brothers Cosulich, new tanker bunker chemical bunker IMO2
Genoa
It is the first in the fleet ready to transport methanol
COSCO will carry out the dual-fuel upgrade of four new container ships from more than 16,000 teu
Shanghai
Renewed the Cda of Interport Padua
Padova
Luciano Greco is the new president
PORTS
Italian Ports:
Ancona Genoa Ravenna
Augusta Gioia Tauro Salerno
Bari La Spezia Savona
Brindisi Leghorn Taranto
Cagliari Naples Trapani
Carrara Palermo Trieste
Civitavecchia Piombino Venice
Italian Interports: list World Ports: map
DATABASE
ShipownersShipbuilding and Shiprepairing Yards
ForwardersShip Suppliers
Shipping AgentsTruckers
MEETINGS
The assembly of Assagents will be held in Genoa on June 25.
Genoa
Event entitled " Mari inquieti. Routes and conflicts : the incognition of traffickers "
Conference on the safety and optimisation of the flow of passengers in ports and borders
Rome
Organized by the ICSA Foundation, it will be held on June 12 in Rome
››› Meetings File
PRESS REVIEW
Deutsche Bahn Schenker takes CVC, Maersk, DSV and Bahri into final round, sources sa
(Reuters)
Chabahar Port: US says sanctions possible after India-Iran port deal
(BBC News)
››› Press Review File
FORUM of Shipping
and Logistics
Relazione del presidente Mario Mattioli
Roma, 27 ottobre 2023
››› File
Self-transport enterprises operating with the port of Genova introduce a "congestion fee"
Genoa
In Venice, the Academy of Logistics and the Sea was established
Venice
It is the fruit of the collaboration between ITS Marco Polo Academy, Vemars and CFLI
Signed the contract for the electrification of the docks at the port of Termoli
Bari
In the programme works of the total value of around 4.5 million euros
Downturn in the quarterly financial performance of Danaos and MPCC
Athens / Oslo
The two companies have fleets of 69 and 56 container ships respectively
Hupac closed the 2023 financial year with a net loss of -6.2 million francs
Chiasso
Next increase in the frequency of intermodal services on the Benelux-Italy corridor
From July, the Port Community System of the Port of Palermo will become active.
Palermo
Allows the management of traffic of ships, means and goods in the stopover
RINA presents a growth plan that could include further acquisitions
Genoa
In 2023 revenue growth of 10% percent. Stable new orders in the first quarter of this year
Support from Banco BPM, UniCredit and SACE for the implementation of interventions in the ports of Naples and Salerno
Naples
Advance Payment Bond of 36 million euros to R.C.M. Construction
The first of the drawers of the new foranea dam has arrived in Genoa.
Genoa
It was laid at -25 meters deep
Mission of Spediport in China to promote the development of air cargo in Genoa
Genoa
Stops in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Guangzhou
Planning of the maritime space, Italy referred to the EU Court of Justice
Brussels
Brussels denounces the lack of processing and communication of management plans
In La Spezia it is hoped the establishment of a Faculty of Transport Economics and Logistics
The Spezia
Pisano : the sector is at the constant search for proper professionalism
On Tuesday in Livorno, the conference will be held "Il Freight Train in the Ports"
Livorno
FerMerci promotes a confrontation between institutions and operators of freight rail transport in ports
Memorandum of Understanding signed by ALIS and Assiterminal
Genoa
Joint development of strategic topics for enterprises and workers in the areas of reference
Swiss, 2.1% percent increase in rail tracks tariffs
Bern
The costs of freight traffic will increase by about six million francs per year
The Euroseas container charterer deems positive the prospects of its market segment
Athens
CargoBeamer secures funding for 140 million euros from public and private investors
Renewed the Management of SOS LOGistics
Milan
Daniele Texts has been confirmed to the presidency
New maxi seizure of drugs in the port of Civitavecchia
Rome
Intercepted a shipment of marijuana of more than 442 kilograms
Mercitalia Shunting & Terminal equipped with new locomotives for rail manoeuvre
Rome
These are locomotors DE 18 produced by Vossloh Rolling Stock
Saipem to fix contracts in Angola to total 3.7 billion
Milan
They were awarded by a company controlled by TotalEnergies
In April, container traffic in the port of Los Angeles grew by 11.9% percent
Los Angeles
In the first quarter of 2024 the increase was 24.8%
FERCAM bars on the Indian market
Bolzano
Opened a branch in New Delhi. The presence will be extended to Mumbai, Calcutta, and Chennai
Fincantieri vars a logistics support unit in Castellammare di Stabia
Trieste
It is the second LSS built for the Italian Navy Navy
Ferretti inaugurates the renewed nautical construction site of La Spezia
The Spezia
The ligure establishment is dedicated to the production of the Riva yachts
Positive first quarter for Global Ship Lease
Athens
Revenue in growth of 12.7%
Launched by Interporto Padova the intermodal service of Trans Italy with the Interport of Livorno Guasticce
Padova
Initially it provides for two weekly circulations
Operating the new automated gate at Reefer Terminal of Going Ligure
Go Ligure
The drivers can carry out the loading and unloading activities without getting off the vehicle
Last month container traffic in the port of Hong Kong decreased by -10.2%
Hong Kong
In the first eventful four-year period 4.5 million teu (-4.7%)
DP World inaugurates new port infrastructure and logistics in Romania
Dubai
New terminals in the port of Costanza destined for cargo project and rotatable
In April, the growth of container traffic in the port of Long Beach continued.
Long Beach
In the first quarter of 2024, the increase was 15.8% percent.
Uniport Livorno buys three new port tractors
Helsinki
Kalmar will deliver them in the last quarter of 2024
They will rise from five to six the weekly rotations of the Melzo-Rotterdam service of Hannibal
Melzo
Increase in frequency as of June 10
In 2023, the revenues of Maritime stations increased by 18.5%
Genoa
Net profit to 1.7 million euros (+ 75.5%)
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