Drewry’s Multipurpose Time Charter Index confirms that MPV-operators are experiencing an upward trend in charter rates to beyond pre-pandemic levels. The conditions are expected to at least last as long as the disruptions in the container sector, which several stakeholders think could last the entire year.

The index increased to USD 6800 per day in February, representing a rise of 4.2 per cent compared to the previous month. The analysts expect another 4.4 per cent increase in March, with the average charter rate reaching USD 7100 per day.

The Drewry Multipurpose Time Charter Index tracks one-year period charter rates across a basket of vessel types and sizes and forecasts the market movement over the coming month. The vessel types include breakbulk and project cargo ships.

Chinese New Year

Despite the Chinese New Year, the charter rates continued to strengthen in all sectors over February. The traditional lull this time of year to materialise as capacity issues and port congestion continuing to plague the container carrier sector. This meant that breakbulk demand for both short sea and project carrier tonnage was firm and the pressure moved away from the operators and onto the shippers, to ensure restocking positions were delivered.

‘Again rates were stronger than had been expected and we believe that this trend will continue over the next month. The likelihood is that the disrupters in the competing sectors will remain for the short-term at least, generating the continued favourable conditions for the multipurpose and heavy-lift sector,’ Drewry states.

Also read: Charter rates keep rising

This article first appeared on Project Cargo Journal, which is another publication of SWZ|Maritime’s publishing partner Promedia.