Monday, November 4, 2019

Analysis of Container Ship Statistics Will be Useful to Box Shipping Interests

Traditional Bulk and Tanker Trade Module Extended
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – VesselsValue, which has hitherto always provided some useful insights for owners, buyers and sellers of a range of seagoing craft, from bulk and oil tankers to gas carriers and superyachts, now includes statistics for container ships, and the latest figures make interesting reading.

Those using the site can now analyse cargo mile demand and see underlying vessel journeys and stoppages for the global fleet of Containerships. This week Adrian Economakis, COO, looked at key data to determine which are currently the most attractive segments for owners and investors, and where the market as a whole, as well as values may be going in the next few years. He said:

“Our Container trade service provides a data driven approach to understanding Containership demand, updated in real time and derived from individual vessel journeys. Combine with supply analysis and you have a deep insight into the fundamentals of the different container segments”

A summary of the data provided shows the box vessel market has been showing some significant gains across both earnings and values, particularly in the Post Panamax and New Panamax segments with the current US-China trade situation having relatively little influence on the figures.

According to the VV boss there is currently a split market with the bigger classes of ships significantly outperforming the smaller types with Post Panamax and above providing the best demand and supply fundamentals.

The Panamax sector seems to be generally the poor relation with demand falling at faster rates than the shrinking supply of this vessel type. The data for the even smaller types is generally even less positive, with supply growth generally exceeding demand, slightly falling values and less theoretical upside that the Panamax sector based on the position in cycle and macro-economic forecasts.

Over the past 3 months, demand for Panamax Containerships has grown at a healthy 2.1% while supply has shrunk slightly by 0.1%. However, over a longer history, the reverse is true with demand shrinkage generally outpacing supply reduction. Over the last year, Panamax TEU demand has fallen by 5.6% while TEU supply has only dropped 1.3%. Over the past 5 years demand has decreased 36.6% with supply falling significantly less, at 22.1%.

Meanwhile box ships Handy size or smaller have seen flat figures, with supply growing slightly as demand dropped. A full rundown of the specifics can be read on the VV Blog.

As opposed to these trends the Post Panamax and larger classes have seen support in terms of TEU utilisation, something the major lines predicted, hence the appetite for the construction of ever larger vessels and a factor influenced no doubt by the burgeoning alliances and vessel sharing arrangements, plus of course the penchant for slow steaming, leaving vessels longer on the water whilst cargo piles up quayside.

Statistics for this larger sector show in the last quarter demand has grown by 2.3% versus a growth in vessel supply by total TEU capacity of 1.7%, in part no doubt the reason for a significant rise in charter rates over that period. However, on an annual basis, supply growth at 4.9% has outpaced demand growth at 3.3%. Over a five year period, demand and supply have been pretty well balanced with demand growing at 33.5% and supply at 33.1%.

Photo: Ships such as the huge MSC Gülsün are currently performing better than their smaller cousins.