Allseas Pioneer Credit VesselFinder
Allseas Pioneer. Photo: VesselFinder

Shippers in the UK have become concerned by suggestions that the Allseas Pioneer, operated by Allseas Shipping, has been arrested for a failure to make charter payments. AIS shows that Allseas Pioneer has been at Waalhaven dock in Rotterdam since 6pm on 30 August, but the company denied the ship is under arrest and told The Loadstar: “The vessel is not under arrest. Allseas is in the process of renegotiating a charter rate with the owner.”

In a clip from next week’s Loadstar Podcast, Allseas’ Bryn Atherton explains how these charter renegotiations are taking place.

It is understood that new entrants and niche operators on the major east-west container shipping trades had chartered vessels at very high rates and, in Allseas’ case, brokers believe the company’s daily charter rates were between $50,000 and $60,000.

These rates were only sustainable for small vessels of around 1,800 teu. Taking the median charter rate of $55,000, the cost for a 28-day voyage from Ningbo to Southampton amounts to $1.54m, and requires a minimum rate of $1,700 per 40ft to meet those charges – although the fuel and ports costs also need to be added.

However, the recent decline in freight rates have tightly squeezed niche operators’ margins.

Sources in the industry said they had been quoted, by Allseas, $7,000 for a 20ft out of north China to Liverpool in mid-October, while Maersk, with its larger ships had quoted $4,000, a clear indication of the dilemma facing new entrants into these declining trades.

Moreover, the source said, they had also received ‘hook rates’, valid until 14 October, of $2,800/20ft and $4,800/40ft ex-Ningbo to Southampton from one of the major carriers.

Meanwhile, another Allseas-chartered vessel, Amo, has been at anchor outside Teesport since 19 September. The company told The Loadstar yesterday: “The vessel is waiting because of issues with port capacity. Allseas expects it to berth this evening or tomorrow morning.”

In fact, Teesport does show congestion and the Amo is expected to berth today. However, the latest reports from Teesport show the vessel remains at anchor outside the port.

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