Shortsea activity slumps, optimism remains
European shortsea operators are experiencing the full brunt of the summer season as activity as well as cargo volumes drop. It is the second month in a row where the summer season is clearly reflected in the Toepfer Transport’s shortsea index.
The Hamburg-based shipbroker noted that Toepfer’s Shortsea Index (TSI) fell in both of the vessel brackets taken into consideration. The time charter equivalents for 3,200-3,800 dwt vessels (TSI-35) stood at €4,238, while 4,800-5,600 dwt vessels (TSI-52) time charter equivalents reached a figure of €5,253, during June 2023. This was a 9.5 per cent and 7.1 per cent drop, respectively, compared to the previous month.
To remind, during the month of May, TSI-35 stood at €4,682, while TSI-52 was at €5,657.
Comparing to the corresponding month in 2022, TSI-35 fell 30.6 per cent from €6,108, and TSI-52 slipped 28.4 per cent from €7,264.
“The traditional summer downturn, which we have not seen for 2 years now, has returned. Overall, there is little activity in the freight markets. The time-charter market is not currently very active,” research team at Toepfer Transport says.
“Some market participants are fairly optimistic that the market will recover around September. Others see an extension of the summer downturn far into the autumn and beyond. Only time will tell whether the optimists or the pessimists are correct. For now, our TSI shows the general lack of activity and cargo.”