HONG Kong-based but Vancouver headquartered non-operating shipowners and charterer Seaspan is bullish on the prospects for the charter market for the second half of the year, as ocean carriers look for tonnage to take over from ships being fitted with scrubbers.


The world’s largest boxship lessor said ship availability in the 6,000 TEU-plus sectors was “becoming tight’, as carriers looked to tie up charters for 12-month periods, as well as to fill in gaps resulting from the further slowing of operational speeds ahead of IMO 2020.


“What we are seeing in our discussions is customers planning for the 35-40 day drydocking of their ships,” said Peter Curtis, executive vice president and chief commercial and technical officer at Seaspan, which owns a fleet of 112 vessels with a capacity of some 900,000 TEU, mostly fixed on long-term charters with carriers.


Speaking during the firm’s Q4 2018 earnings call, Mr Curtis confirmed that 10 of its “larger ships” would have scrubber systems installed at the request of two liner clients.


“Payback” would come mostly from a hike in daily hire rates to cover the cost of the installation and provide for a return on the investment, he said.


With its first charter agreements signed, with Evergreen and HMM, Seaspan now counts all of the nine largest liners as its customers. Mr Curtis described the first deal, with Evergreen in the fourth quarter, as “a big win for us”, and said the company’s focus was “always to have a broad footprint in the industry”, reports The Loadstar, UK.


Seaspan reported fourth-quarter revenue of US$295 million, compared with $214 million for the same period of 2018, and for the full-year, turnover hit $1.1 billion, versus $831 million in the previous year.


Net earnings after dividends came in at $44 million for Q4 ($42 million) and $208 million ($111 million) for the 12 months.



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