Box line start-up fixes extra ships
Replacement vessels booked after Oskar Wehr deal falls through
START-UP box carrier The Containership Company has managed to fix another two vessels for its transpacific service after suffering a setback earlier this month when a deal with shipowner Oskar Wehr fell through.
The owner reportedly had second thoughts, and instead TCC has fixed the 2,900 teu Champion , owned by a KG fund set up by German financier Gebab. The vessel was chartered for 12 months at a daily rate of $5,500. The deal includes three options for 12 months each, starting at $12,500 and going up to $19,000 per day.
According to boxship brokers, TCC also chartered a sister vessel of the Champion on similar terms. The new company needs five ships for its Great Dragon service between Taicang in China and Los Angeles, which is set to start on April 17.
The rate for the Champion is significantly lower than the $8,500 per day TCC agreed to pay for its first ship, the 2,500 teu Ripon, reflecting that no purchase option was attached, brokers said. TCC is said to be seeking purchase options as it also wants to become active in asset play. However, the rate also included a small newcomer bonus, according to brokers.
For Gebab and the KG fund owning the Champion , the deal was good news. The vessel has been idle since November 2008, when a charter contract with CMA CGM ended. In March last year, the KG fund owning the vessel faced insolvency and had to be rescued via a capital injection provided by the owners. In its rescue plan calculations, Gebab had assumed that the vessel would not achieve any earnings throughout 2010.
TCC also took a 2,500 teu boxship for a 10-day trip at a daily $7,000, probably for the transport of empties in preparation for the launch of its service.
The TCC fixtures attracted a lot of attention on the charter market in a week with otherwise low activity. Larger vessels of panamax size and above are still finding employment at increasing rates as demand is outstripping supply, while rates for smaller vessel remained flat. ?We are heading into a split market,? one Hamburg broker said.
Hamburg Süd, which is understood to be introducing super-slow steaming, was reported by brokers to have set a new benchmark by chartering two 5,000 teu vessels, the Santa Pelagia and the Santa Patricia , owned by Claus-Peter Offen, each for two years with an option for twelve months at a daily rate of $15,000.
CMA CGM fixed the 4,200 teu newbuilding Hammonia Galacia for a maximum of three months at a high $14,500 per day, casting a light on rising rates for large ships. ?By comparison, a month ago, a comparable vessel was chartered out at $8,500,? one broker said.
Chilean liner CSAV took the 3,500 teu newbuilding HS Haydn , owned by Hansa Treuhand, for 12 months at $6,500 per day in a deal that showed the improving situation for larger vessels. Initially, the vessel had a charter contract with TS Lines for $5,500 per day but the deal failed as the vessel was not delivered in time to the charterer. CSAV then took the vessel and also agreed on an option for another twelve months at a high $22,500 per day.
However, markets are still in such a condition that some owners want to avoid seeing their tonnage on the spot market.
Döhle linked to Emirates
GERMAN tramp owner Peter Döhle has become a shareholder in Hong Kong and Dubai-based Emirates Shipping Line as part of a restructuring of the struggling liner operator, writes Patrick Hagen.
At the moment, six Döhle-controlled boxships between 3,100 and 3,400 teu are chartered out to Emirates Shipping Line. The Hamburg-based company confirmed to Lloyd"s List that it will in future own a minority stake in the carrier but did not reveal the size of its stake.
The deal resembles the rescue of Chilean line CSAV, where owners accepted rate cuts in return for a stake in the company. Döhle also played a major role at that time. The company has close ties to Emirates Shipping Line since it was set up in 2006.