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The rebound in demand for container transport this year has been surprisingly strong, said Ron Widdows, chief executive officer of Neptune Orient Lines.
"You couldn't go out and charter a 6,000-TEU ship or bigger if your life depended on it. They don't exist. They are all employed and they are all full. It's amazing what has happened," he said.
"The bounce in demand, the strength of the market has continued beyond anything that you can subscribe to inventory restocking. Everything that has been delivered has been employed. The ships that are idle are all smaller," he added.
Widdows said he thinks most carriers are satisfied with the level of freight rate increases they achieved during contract renewals with shippers in the trans-Pacific trade. "I think you will find that talking to just about anyone that they were satisfied with the outcome of contracting."
But he said further increases are likely.
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