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2015 was a busy year for container traffic on the eastern coast of the US. 7.9 million TEU of loaded containers entered the US East Coast in 2015, a 12.6% increase - compared to 7 million in 2014.
In the past three months, time charter rates have hovered around the same levels, providing owners with a steady market despite the downward shift in spot freight rates. Summer demand should determine the next turning point, with initial indicators suggesting weaker East/West volumes, but stronger North/South trade. Moreover, increased flows on the Middle East and intra-Asia trades should drive rates for small containerships higher, as idle capacity is now removed and orderbook in this segment is low.