According to MANA, containership earnings have spent most of the period since the onset of the global financial crisis back in 2008 at bottom of the cycle levels.
In the first quarter of 2017, the mainlane freight rate index averaged 64 points, up 42% on the 2016 average.
However, containership charter rates remained in the doldrums into 2017, with the time-charter rate index stuck at a historically low 39 points at the end of February, before the market picked up sharply during March taking the index to 47, Clarksons informed.
This change in conditions was partly supported by liner companies moving quickly to charter to meet the requirements of new alliance service structures.
Demand is projected to outgrow supply this year by 4% to 2%, but not by quite as much as seen so far. Full year expectations may be a little more restrained, but it is still a helpful switch, according to Clarksons.