Charter rates for boxships have hit an all-time high and are expected to remain strong for some time yet.

The Hamburg and Bremen Shipbrokers' Association's New ConTex index rose 2.3% over the week to a historical high of 1,350 points.

That follows “a paradigm shift” towards fixing for longer charter periods of 24 to 36 months, which have become the “new normal” for larger ships, according to a New ConTex note.

The surging market has also lifted the Howe Robinson Containership Index (HRCI) to 2,133 points.