The launch of THE Alliance and the Ocean Alliance is providing a test for the container charter market.

The two new alliances went live on 1 April after helping to fuel a surprisingly strong rally in the charter market.

Rates for intermediate and large containerships have doubled since the start of the year as lines chased a diminishing supply of available tonnage to fill gaps in their new service schedules.

But now operators have vessels in place, some fear that the surge in charter earnings for vessels in the 2,000-teu to 11,000-teu category will begin to falter.