Press releases

For the first time since early summer 2015 we witnessed 'growth' in the New Contex, which closed one point up at 334. Maybe finally the first sign of a market reaching its overall bottom. The market however remains heavily over supplied in all segment but at least the individual segments appeared steady but low with most changes within the 1 pct bracket compared to last week.

In the small 1100 TEU segment a 1.4% growth was registered compared to last week and is actually also slightly higher on a monthly or even a yearly basis. In reality one could state this should have happened earlier as certain areas indeed were lacking 1100 TEU tonnage but pressure from alternative tonnage have kept levels lows. The 1700 TEU remain steady but with improvements being difficult in the coming weeks as the new eco types have lowered their expectations or rather been forced to as the consumption advantage been taken away with bunker prices continuing downwards. Although a slight decrease was seen in the 2500 TEU segment and 2700 TEU the trend must be considered stable.

The rates are at the bottom and most negotiations are focused on avoiding a too long period. The 3500 TEU segment seems completely overlooked with little new demand whereas 4250 TEU tonnage could perform slightly better this week. Activity is likely to be reasonable during the coming week but February will be influenced by the CNY holidays where chartering activity may be reduced.

With only 2 points down to 333 (and 6 points since the beginning of this year) the New ConTex moved, as predicted,  quite steadily with rates seemed more or less bottomed out.
Although rates sofar still haven’t  come up in the 1100 TEU segment the change compared to last week of just minus 0.2% e.g. USD 6,594  and the probably less idle tonnage available is considered a good sign.
The 1700 TEU still keeping a slight downward trend with minus 0.9% to USD 7,367  for 12 months whereas the intermediate classes of 2500 TEU and 2700 TEU loosing further ground of minus 1.6% to 6,042 USD respectively minus 1.4%  to 6,250 USD both for 12 months which being dictated by the number of idle vessels available in this segment.
The 3500 TEU (UP 0.3% to 5,990 USD for 12 months) and 4250 teu (down 0.5% to 5,818 USD for 12 months) only moving down very slowly respectively sideways showing a certain market resistance.

(8.1.2016) The New ConTex closed this week only 4 points down, at 335. Seems the bottom is more or less reached and Charterers already trying to cover forward deliveries at today’s level. Especially for the smaller sizes the trend is positive, although rates not increased during the Christmas holidays but we noted less idle tonnage which certainly is the first step to improve the present USD 6,605 for 1100 TEU (minus 0.6%) The 1700 TEU size seems still under pressure with minus 2.0%. It remains to be seen what will happen to the intermediate classes of 2500 TEU and 2700 TEU, presently they are moving sideways respectively slightly down. However, the bigger sizes 3500 TEU (down 0.5%) and 4250 TEU (down 0.6%) reached a level of upto nearly 34% (!) below the Index a year ago and consequently no bigger decrease of rates is expected anymore.

(18.12.2015) Another week, another drop of the New ConTex, now down to 339 points. This slower decrease is seemingly indicating once again that we are hopefully reaching the rock bottom. It remains to be seen though at what levels a business still makes sense for an Owner these days and to what extent Charterers can take advantage of the distressed market.

All sizes keep the downward trend while the 1100 TEU segment remains 'strong' at USD 6,643 and the 1700 TEU segment still at USD 7,581 while the 2500 TEU at USD 6,215 and the 2700 TEU at USD 6,573 for 12 months are coming closer towards the even weaker larger segments. The 3500 TEU segment though faced the biggest drop this week, down to USD 6,135 for a period of 12 months. The 4250 TEU segment further dropped down to USD 5,895, which still remains the most pressurized amongst the listed sizes.

It will remain a very exciting market the coming months with Owners fighting to secure the few requirements over the upcoming holidays, while the Charterers will still try to push  the rates further down and endeavour to establish more and more flexibility on the charter periods. There will surely be a point though, when Owners simply can not commit to present or even lower levels well below OPEX  costs and agree to the flexibility Charterers are demanding on periods these days.

(11.12.2015) Again the New ConTex dropped further during last week, now down to 343 points. Having said that it seems the pace of the weekly decreases is slowing down being confirmed by recent singledigit reductions compared to mainly doubledigit numbers before. Thus one may conclude that the bottom could be reached shortly. Similar to previous weeks the smaller size of 1100 TEU is showing only small changes ( - 1,2 % w.o.w.), whilst the 1700 TEU is now joining the larger segments of the New ConTex with reductions seen between 1,4 % and 1,8 %. However both the 1100 and the 1700 TEU sizes remain in black on a year on year basis, whilst all the other sizes are considerably down in that period.

The biggest loss was shown during last week for  the 3500 TEU basis 24 mos with USD 249 down (-3,1 %) ending up at an evaluation of USD 7885, which is now for the first time since mid October evaluated lower again than the 4250 TEU (USD 7901 basis 24 mos).

The number of idle ships are still increasing and with the Christmas holiday season approaching the market will likely slow further down during the next weeks and same may likely last until Chinese New Year.


(27.11.2015) The New ConTex regrettably shed a further 4 points, down to 353 points compared with last week. Searching for pro's it becomes exceedingly obvious that the 1100 and 1700 TEU segment is maintaining it's relative strength in a diminishing market environment. Fixing activity slowed down considerably during this week with only a handful of fresh requirements observed versus a steady rising idle fleet which surpassed the 1.2mio TEU mark last week.

Whilst the smaller feeder segment is still able to defend their y2014 levels, the 3500 TEU and 4250 TEU segment lost as much as 18,9 % and 38,6 % respectively on y-o-y basis. For the remainder of the year we estimate the time charter rates to ease a bit further but mainly affecting the bigger sizes - in excess of 3000 TEU - as experienced during the recent weeks.

(20.11.2015) The New ConTex has dropped another 6 points within this week. Compared to the previous weeks this is the smallest decline but considering the already very low market it is alarming to see that the charter rates are still dropping. Very low bunker prices and freight rates are pushing all markets down and Owners as well as Operators are having a tough time trying to break even. In some size segments, especially in the larger ones, vessels are even fixed below the OPEX costs. This means very challenging times for all parties, especially when taking into consideration that most likely nothing much positive will happen until after Chinese New Year. On a Month-to-Month basis the 4250 and 3500 TEU-Types have experienced the biggest decline - the spot-list of vessels is growing in most segments. Many Operators are working on employing their own idle vessels instead of fixing or extending chartered vessels.

(13.11.15) This week the New ConTex dropped by 9 points. Although the index is still rapidly moving south, this marks the lowest New ConTex decline in seven weeks. While Type 1100 (-1.0%) and Type 2500 (-1.9%) acquired only moderate decreases, all other vessel types fell by more than 2% this week. With 6.1% Type 3500 incurred the biggest weekly decline. On a year-on-year basis Type 3500 (-13.3%) and Type 4250 (-36.1%) suffered the biggest losses. Only Type 1100 and Type 1700 still remain above their previous year´s New ConTex assessment level.

(6.11.2015) The New ConTex Index shed another 12 points this week and now stands at 373. Once again all the component rates have been marked down with the larger sizes (3500 TEUs and 4250 TEUs) continuing to bear the heaviest losses. Indeed, in the case of the 3500 TEUs, the loss basis 12 months was a rather dramatic 7.5% week-on-week.

The container market is clearly experiencing very challenging times at the moment. It is anticipated that the number of idle ships will reach 300 units in the next few weeks - representing nearly 6% of the fleet - with worse expected to come during the slack season from December through to (some time after) Chinese New Year.

What is perhaps more alarming is that operators appear to be idling some of the young very large ships in excess of 13000 TEUs which, just a few years ago, were supposed to be the vanguard of the new era! Tramp Owners can unfortunately be assured that operators will trim their chartered fleets where possible before idling their own ships.

(29.10.2015) We are living in a chartering world of pain! The New ConTex has fallen to a level of 385 points which was last recorded in January 2015. From the 2015 peak recorded in June, the index has shed 32%. All segments are experiencing lower TC levels combined with very flexible charter periods. The Charterers are very much in the drivers' seat and dictate terms to the shipowner who is the "lucky" one getting the chance to negotiate. A lot of other vessels in spot or prompt positions do not even get the chance to offer. Alphaliner has published quickly rising idle numbers which are expected to break 1 million TEU any time now. But how much more can hire levels drop when some segments have already reached OPEX levels of vessels? Is it in the Liner Industry's interest to make Owners manage their vessels basis mega-tight budgets with the risk of technical trouble and a lower vessel's performance ? Presently we are heading into very difficult waters.