The Drewry Multipurpose Time Charter Index increased to USD6,134 per day in November 2020, representing a rise of 2.8 percent compared to the previous month.

Over the year to November, Drewry’s index is down 6.6 percent; the analyst expects the index to rise a further 3.7 percent in December to reach USD6,360.

Drewry said that in the smaller, short-sea orientated sector, momentum built progressively through the month. This is scheduled to carry on through year-end as charterers look to cover December orders before the holidays. Rates averaged around USD5,500 per day over the month and were up almost 2 percent compared to October.

For larger, more heavy lift capable vessels, there are some signs that the shortage of capacity in the container sector is having a positive effect. “Although some of that capacity shortage is equipment based, congestion on the Panama Canal is exacerbating the situation and there have been a few reports of the lines chartering multipurpose vessels,” said Drewry.

“Whilst we can see there is a definite correlation with recent rate rises, it is worth noting that the so-called container-friendly multipurpose vessels are few and far between. Moreover, as container shipping’s capacity constraints are more container equipment than vessel space-related, the likelihood is that shippers will move some cargoes back to breakbulk, opening this potential demand surge to the rest of the multipurpose fleet. Either way rates in this sector are on the up and we expect this to continue to the year-end with average rates across the main sectors rising to around USD6,300 per day.”