Feeder ships are smaller container vessels used to transport to and from large ports and other locations, inland or along a coast. There are many feeder ship operators, mainly clustered around larger ports. In Europe they frequently ply rivers as well as coastal routes.
Feeder operators have in the past been ‘asset-light’. In other words, they have not owned their ships– they have chartered them from shipowners.
But now, with major congestion at major ports, shippers who have large well-defined needs for container transport have been scrambling to charter these smaller vessels for their own account. The feeder operators face a bidding war for the vessels they need.
An example of the competition for ships is the recent charter by Pasha Hawaii, a US-flagged carrier, of a 2756 TEU ship on behalf of Costco. The charter rate was $1875K per day for 60 days. This astonishing rate cannot be afforded by feeder lines. It turns their economic model topsy-turvy.
Nobody ever said shipping was an easy business.
By Mike Wackett 03/02/2022Feeder ship frenzy putting even more pressure on supply chains – The Loadstar