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Container ship rates to remain firm

Solid demand for consumer goods from developing nations should continue to push up container ship rates during 2007, according to John Coustas, Chief Executive Officer at Greek shipping company Danaos Corporation.
’Unless something dramatic happens in the world’s economies, I can not see any kind of correction happening this year,’€™ Mr Coustas told a recent maritime shipping conference in New York. Global shipyard order books are full through 2009 but, despite this glut of new vessels scheduled for launch in the near to medium term, demand should serve to maintain firm market conditions, he argued.
Danaos Corp. went public last October and has a fleet of 31 container ships, with 23 more on order for delivery by 2010. The ships haul containers from developing nations such as China to consumers in markets including the USA. Last November, the company bought three used container ships from A P Moeller-Maersk which it subsequently leased back to the Danish shipping giant on a five-year charter. ‘€˜We expect to see more deals like this with shipping lines,’€™ said Mr Coustas. ‘€˜But we have to be careful with them because the pricing is very fine.’€™

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