Time charter rates in the multipurpose shipping sector have dropped over the last month, according to shipbroker Toepfer Transport.

The average daily time charter rate for a 12,500 dwt/F-type heavy lift vessel stands at USD7,221 for March 2020. In February 2020, the rate was USD7,415.

The drop in freight rates is not surprising. The coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak is weighing heavily on international shipping. Drewry expects that the pandemic will lead to weaker than expected full-year cargo demand growth for multipurpose and heavy lift vessels and has downgraded its outlook for the sector.

A rebound in rates appears to be on reliant on containment – the longer and more widespread the Covid-19 outbreak becomes, the more damage it will cause.