Containership Time-Charter-Rates

Well over 50% of the entire worldwide fleet of container vessels is operated from Germany or by international companies that are mainly in German ownership. This fleet, and also some of the international container vessel tonnage, is almost exclusively or to a large extent brokered by freight brokers based in Hamburg. That makes Hamburg the world’s largest container ship time-charter market. Hamburg brokers control some 45% of all container ship charter tonnage available in the free market.

The Hamburg and Bremen Shipbrokers’ Association (VHBS) has developed the HAMBURG INDEX Containership Time-Charter Rates. This is the only company-independent market analysis of container ship time-charter rates. It is based on the broad data base of Hamburg freight brokers, and gives a realistic picture of the market for selected vessel types.

The presentation is published at the beginning of each month, to give Hamburg shipbrokers a set of tools for marketing and image promotion, without in any way restricting the role of the individual freight brokers. On the contrary, it is intended to provide objective data so that individual brokers can make their own forecasts and estimates for their customers.

The following factors were considered in choice of vessel types:

Standard types were chosen in 14 size categories; these are considered characteristic of the market, due to the large number of vessels in these categories. The vessels have been subdivided into groups, i.e. those with loading gear (GEARED) and those without (GEARLESS) and those with and without (GEARED / GEARLESS). The groups with small cargo capacity have been restricted to the COMPACT types, to avoid distorting the picture by the inclusion of large multipurpose vessels. The groups with large cargo capacity have been limited to cell-type vessels (CELLED). The comparative parameter is the US dollar rate per 14t/slot, because this permits optimal comparison with other vessels. Apart from the smallest group, the time charter period is fixed at a minimum of 3 months.

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