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Heightened interests in Panamax vessels offer seafarers a fighting chance

It is clear charterers are now considering splitting cargoes, which imply more jobs for seafarers

China’s typhoon Chanthu propelled rates for capesize vessels’ time charter and voyages. S&P Platts recorded an average index of $49,460/d as at 13 September 2021 for ships burning 0.5 per cent sulphur marine fuel. This is an $8,764/d, or a 21.5 per cent increase from $40,696/d from 10 September 2021. It is the highest single session jump since the assessment launch in November 2019.

What split cargoes mean for seafarers

Brutal typhoons resulting in tonnage supply disruptions further complicated operations, in addition to the existing tight COVID-19 related protocols in place. Typhoons are one of the major causes of congestions as ships are left waiting either to discharge or depart. To make matters worse, Cape T4 skyrocketed 42.5 per cent over the past three trading sessions from when Platts assessed the route at $34,704/d on 8 September 2021. Accordingly, most freight rates have reached record levels.

Charterers are now in a difficult spot; having to pay premiums to entice ships to ballast from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Not surprising, shipowners are strongly resisting to this upside. On the other hand, charterers are also closer to needing smaller vessels for their cargoes. Industry observers are not ruling out splitting cargoes will become a feasible option. Not only will it increase the demand for smaller vessels, the hike will also spill over to manpower demand.

Should cargo owners roll the dice with capesize ships, they have more to fear about their books at the end of the financial year. Charterers who see the advantages panamax ships have to offer, a little investment might bring more gains. Though the panamax sector remains skeptical about a demand, export volumes for Q4 has been habitually high. That offers more pockets of employment for seafarers when the interests for panamax ships increase, instead of waiting for opportunities from capesize vessels.


Crewing Online News Team
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