The Drewry Multipurpose Time Charter Index rose to USD8,339 per day in May 2021, a rise of 4.3 percent compared April 2021.

Over the year to May 2021, Drewry’s index is up by 46 percent, and the analyst expects a further rise of 7.3 percent to reach USD8,950 per day in June.

Drewry said that rates for larger deadweight tonnage continued to rise over May, as demand for breakbulk cargoes strengthened further due to tightening capacity in the container and bulk sectors. Meanwhile, rates in the shortsea sector are described as stable.

Drewry said: “There were some reports of multipurpose vessels being chartered to carry full loads of containers, the majority empty for repositioning purposes, whilst in other news cargoes that were last year fixed in containers are now back to moving breakbulk.

“The only caveat on this outlook is that the charter market is very tight, with many carriers advising they are fully booked throughout the summer. This will inevitably make period charter hires few and far between and this is likely to inflate spot rates, making an assessment more problematic.”

The expectation from shippers, the analyst added, is that the capacity crunch will last well into the autumn, thereby fuelling further rate rises over what is traditionally a slower part of the year.