Box scrap candidates find new trading owners

Date: Monday, April 3, 2023
Source: Splash 24/7

The predicted wave of boxships heading for demolition is proving to be a trickle. Ships are still making money, whatever their age, and demo candidates are finding new owners rather than the blow torch.

Around the start of the year many of container shipping’s top analysts were predicting hundreds of thousands of teu worth of vintage boxships to be scrapped.

With rates now stabilising and reports emerging today of a profitable 2023 in prospect, the sector’s most avaricious buyer of tonnage has added more ships.

Taiwan’s Evergreen had circulated two 1999-built ships, the Ever Uberty and Ever Unific, as scrap candidates, but Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) has come in and taken the ships. The vessels have trading certificates just through to Q1 next year. Brokers report MSC has also taken the 4,043 teu, 2006-built Pohorje for $21m, bringing its tally of secondhand purchases to around 300 ships in less than three years, S&P activity on a scale never seen in any shipping sector.

According to VesselsValue, container values appear to have found a floor and are now beginning to stabilise. Values for five-year-old panamax containerships of 4,250 teu have seen a small increase of 1% since the start of March to $39.68m.

At the peak of the recent container boom, passing a sixth special survey and going beyond 30 years of life was considered feasible for ships that, pre-covid, would have been consigned to the breakers.

The result of this muted scrapping is the global boxship fleet is getting old very fast.

Data from Greece’s Xclusiv Shipbrokers shows that in the space of the last year, the number of boxships aged 21 or more has grown by 21%.


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