Containership scrapping ramps up, as panamax values continue in the doldrums

Two hundred and one containerships have been scrapped this year. According to Braemar ACM, by 20 December, 699,000 teu of capacity had been sent for demolition. This compares with 187,500 teu in the whole of 2015.

According to Alphaliner, the number of containerships in hot or cold lay-up by 12 December had dropped to 336 from 357 vessels two weeks previously. The slight fall was not just down to scrapping, but also to an increase in charter activity in the smaller, 1,000-3,000 teu sizes. Nevertheless, at 1.4m teu the number of redundant container slots still remains higher than in the wake of the 2008/2009 financial crash, and represents 7.1% of the world’s cellular fleet.

Charter rates for all sectors continue to scrape along the bottom. Anecdotal reports from brokers suggest that the $4,000 level has been breached, and one shipbroker told The Loadstar he had fixed a panamax ‘on subjects’ at $3,900 in the past week for a two-month charter with options.

Non-operating containership owner Seaspan has snapped up four 4,275 teu ships at $5.2m each. Seaspan chief executive Gerry Wang said: “We purchased modern assets at a price equivalent to their steel value.”

(The Loadstar)