(16.2.2018) Despite the chinese new year holidays the charter market continues to be fairly active in all segments. Idle fleet has become minimal and with uncovered demand for March-April the holidays are not expected to have any impact on rate developments.

The New ConTex was up a further 3 points this week and similar to the previous week the 4250 TEU segment experienced the highest gain for both the 12 and 24 months rating with a 1,9 pct gain this week.Present indications point however towards the 1700 and 3500 TEU segment which recorded continued improvement but indeed holding further upward potential. Both segments appear to lack tonnage which likely to influence the market during the coming month.

(9.2.2018) In the pre-Chinese New Year week the New ConTex has been stepping sideways respectively with a very moderate upward trend.

Considering however an idle fleet staying well below 2 percent overall and a firming of the box rates which have, as per Shanghai Freight Index, increased more than 20 percent since early December, 2017 the sentiment remaining still fairly positiv and should continue after the Chinese New Year Celebrations.

The New ConTex stepped up another 3 points and stands at 432 which is now 43% more on a year-on-year basis. All the component rates were marked at least marginally higher with only one exception of the 2500 TEU size which lost 0,2% basis 12 month respectively stayed at same rate basis 24 month. The biggest winner in this week was again the 4250 TEU size with another 2% increase basis 12 month and 1,3% basis 24 month.

(2.2.2018) The month of February has always been a crucial month to observe the further development of the charter rates. It's the month of the CNY and therefore a quiet month is expected but the key difference is that the increased rates of the last months of 2017 have remained stable and even increased during the first month of 2018. If we take a look at the New ConTex development we will see that the rates have upward stable trends (+ 5 points or 1.2%).

Some pressure is expected at the advent of CNY but this remains to be seen as there are not many vessels available. But no time for celebrations yet. February should be a month of cautious optimism.   

(26.1.2018) The container market continues to develop in the way the new year started, with rising cargo volumes combined with a shortage of ships in most sizes and in most regions. The result is an improvement in rates accoss the board at a time such a trend would be least expected (even when the market was much higher than these days).

The New ConTex Index has gained a further 7 points on last week and now stands at 424. All the component rates were marked higher again, further evidence that the market recovery is uniform rather than patchy.

Another phenomenon is that each sector is experiencing fairly similar gains since last week, with rates being marked typically in the range of 0.7 to 2.2 percentage points higher. Once again the classical panamaxes (4250 TEUs) are recording the greatest improvement (2.2% basis 12 months and 1.9% basis 24 months). The smallest gains were seen in the 2700 TEUs (0.7% basis 12 months and 0.9% basis 24 months) but, even here, the improvements should be judged by the time of year.

(19.1.2018) This week the New ConTex moved another 6 points (=1,5%) up, which is confirming the overall trend in the market where the signs remain positive.Todays level of 417 points was last seen in  Autumn 2015 with 416 points on 15th October 2015! The Index is now continously going up since mid Novermber 2017 coming from 399 points. A year ago the ConTex remained around 300 points from mid October 2016 until end February 2017.

Every segment in the New ConTex is actually showing positive tendency compared to the week before. Highlighted in actual rates by the 1700 TEU size basis 12 mos evaluation with an increase of more than USD 200 daily as we expected already in our commentary last week. 

The biggest gain was actually seen in the Panamx (4250 TEU) evaluation for the 12 mos period with USD 252 daily = 3,1% on a Week-on-Week basis.

This general trend will likely continue, especially in the smaller sizes, as Owners successfully aim for an increase on hire levels compared to "last done".

(5.1.2018) The new tables of pilotage dues for all German sea pilotage districts are available under:

(19.12.2017) Mit großer Erleichterung nehmen die Hamburger Schiffsmakler die heutige Entscheidung des Bundesverwaltungsgerichts wahr. Hierzu sagt der Vorsitzende der Vereinigung Hamburger Schiffsmakler und Schiffsagenten e.V., Christian Koopmann: „Die Bedeutung der heutigen Entscheidung darf nicht gering geachtet werden. Nunmehr ist endlich der Weg frei, zumindest juristisch. Auf dieses wichtige Zeichen für die Zukunftsfähigkeit des Hamburger Hafens hat man in den Zentralen der internationalen Reedereien lange gewartet. Es bleibt zu hoffen, dass die weiteren Schritte ebenfalls zeitnah erfolgen können.“


Koopmann verwies in diesem Zusammenhang auf die positiven Auswirkungen solcher Maßnahmen für die Häfen. „Ohne die Scheldeanpassung wäre Antwerpen der deutliche Zuwachs in den letzten Jahren nicht gelungen. Daher ist der Plan zur Fahrrinnenanpassung auf der Elbe weiterhin richtig und für die Sicherung der Wettbewerbsposition Hamburgs unverzichtbar.“ Nach Aussage Koopmanns ist nicht zu vergessen, dass der Warentransport per Schiff nach wie vor die umweltfreundlichste Variante der Güterbeförderung darstellt.  So gesehen, komme der Entscheidung für die Anpassung der Fahrrinne sowie des Ausbaus des Hafens auch eine ökologische Komponente zu.


In diesem Zusammenhang wiederholte der VHSS-Vorsitzende seine Kritik an den Umweltverbänden. Koopmann abschließend: „Auch wenn wir leider immer noch nicht die Fahrrinnenanpassung beginnen können, so gilt es doch festzuhalten, dass der NABU und der BUND ihre Gerichtsverfahren verloren haben. Anstatt neue juristische Verfahren anzukündigen, wäre es nur fair und anständig, dieses endlich zu akzeptieren. Das ist auch Ausdruck rechtstaatlichen Denkens. Es ist nicht ehrenrührig in einem Rechtsstreit zu unterliegen - es wird nur peinlich, wenn man sich partout weigert, dieses Ergebnis anzuerkennen, weil es nicht in die eigene Ideologie passt.“ Aus Sicht der VHSS sollten sich die Verbände konstruktiv in die Pläne zur Planergänzung einbringen, aber nicht wieder versuchen, über diesen Umweg das Gesamtprojekt zu torpedieren.

(24.11.2017) The New ConTex remains stable now reported with 400 points means no changes compared to last week. The tonnage demand remains in majority of our reported segments high and some areas are even empty of tonnage like 1700 teu.

Only one position is left in the Caribs / Mediterranean Sea and Continent area are “sold out”. The comparison on Year – on – Year shows still positive figures between 8,2% growth (only) on the 1100 teu design and  80% on the 4250 TEU design.

It is worth to mention that the containership fleet has reached a new high of 21 Mteu in November, but the pace of growth has slowed in the last two years The slowdown was mainly due to increased scrapping activity in late 2016.

Although the year-on-year growth in total containership capacity is only 3.5%, the growth rate of the active fleet reaches 1 Mteu (9%) after taking into account the substantial reduction of the unemployed (idle) capacity.

(10.11.2017) The "69. Eisbeinessen" event has been successfully passed and we are entering now the dark season of the year. In the first week of November, the New ConTex had to accept crossing the level of 400 points again and is now evaluated at 398. This momentum is strongly supported by the negative trend of the Panamax rates, which are now 7,8% lower (m-o-m basis) for the 24 mos evaluation, resp. even 11,2% lower (m-o-m basis) for the 12 mos evaluation.
One exemption in the rate development is represented by the 12 mos evaluation of the 1700 TEU class. Contrary to all other evaluations these ships are earning on a w-o-w basis even 0,7% (USD 61,-) compared to what has been evaluated during the Eisbein week. For this particular segment, quite some demand has been seen recently, which is in particular trading areas also reflected in the rates achieved whilst fixing. A good part of the tonnage still becoming available during the balance of 2017 will likely be extended, i.e. it might be the case that we see further recovery at least in this class.

(3.11.2017) The New ConTex Index lost one point over the week to stand at 400. Although it is the "classical" panamaxes (4250 TEUs) which continue to be the chief cause of this decline, there seem to be some weaknesses developing elsewhere.

In fact all the component rates lost ground with the exception of the 2700 TEUs sector which managed a 0.5% gain on the week (basis 12 months) but only a barely detectable US$ 5 increase basis 24 months. As for those sectors which registered losses, it was a mixed picture with the geared 1100 TEUs and 2500 TEUs facing more challenging times again.

Given the public holidays around the globe this week and the annual Eisbeinessen in Hamburg, Owners should not be too alarmed at this stage; the next few weeks will be more important in judging what strength the market is in as we head towards the end of the year.

Happy Eisbein!!!