Multipurpose vessels (MPVs) could continue to be used to alleviate the supply shortages in the container sector well into 2022, according to the shipping consultancy Drewry. Breakbulk cargoes are also expected to continue seeking available MPV tonnage.
At the end of the year, Drewry’s Multipurpose Time Charter Index has hit $10,575 per day. This was a 0.8 percent rise from November when the index rose 1.9 percent. The end of year holidays have kept the rates, especially in the short-sea sector subdued.
From the start of the year, Drewry’s index shot up 63 percent and compared to December 2020, the rise is 69 percent. For January 2022, Drewry expects to see another 1.7 percent increase with the index reaching $10,750 per day.
Although rates slowed further to the end of the year, Drewry expects momentum to pick up swiftly over January 2022. The supply constraints in the container market, due to ongoing port congestion and port closures on account of Omicron concerns, are still the biggest demand driver for this sector. Breakbulk cargoes continue to seek out available multipurpose vessels, including the widely reported bags of coffee beans being shipped to the US. MPV tonnage is expected to continue to be used to alleviate the supply shortages in the container sector well into 2022.
For the larger project carriers the pickup in offshore wind projects, a significant forecast from COP26, has meant that those owners who can build are favouring these vessel types in anticipation of a potential demand surge in 2023. All of which underpins Drewry’s continued (cautious) optimism for this sector.