Containerships, Then and Now
On 23 April 1966, the containership Sea-Land’s Fairland sailed from Port Elizabeth in the USA to Rotterdam in the Netherlands carrying 236 containers. This was the first international voyage of a container ship. The subsequent proliferation of “containerization” drastically simplified intermodal freight transportation and ultimately led to a revolution in cargo transportation and international trade over the next 50 years.
Today, approximately 90% of non-bulk cargo worldwide is transported by container ship. Container shipping connects countries, markets, and businesses, allowing them to buy and sell goods on a scale not previously possible.
DID YOU KNOW? The total capacity of Danaos’ fleet of containerships is 334,239 TEU. It’s largest vessels can carry up to 13,100 20-foot containers. Learn more…
Chartering & Liner Companies
Most of the world's carrying capacity in container ships is owned or chartered by liner companies, the customers Danaos serves. Liner companies generally operate container ships on specific routes (for example the Far East to Europe route) and at defined intervals. It is a common practice for the large container lines to supplement their own ships with chartered-in ships.
Danaos is a containership owner that charters its containerships to liner companies and other operators. The company ranks among the largest independent container ship charterers in the world.
Containerships are typically chartered according to three types of charter agreements: the voyage charter, the bareboat charter, and the time charter. In a voyage charter, the charterer rents the vessel from the loading port to the discharge port. In a bareboat charter, the charterer acts as the ship's operator and manager, taking on responsibilities such as providing the crew and maintaining the vessel. In a time charter, the vessel is hired for a set period of time, to perform voyages as the charterer directs. The vessels in Danaos’ fleet are typically contracted by liner companies on long-term time charters, which insulates the company from short-term fluctuations in charter rates and provides predictable revenue.