MSC appears keen on boasting the largest vessel order book; brokers have highlighted that the largest liner operator in the world has ordered 10 11,400 TEU vessels from Zhoushan Changhong International Shipyard in China.
The much-awaited delivery is expected to take place between 2025 and 2026.
The price was, however, not disclosed, even though similar vessels that the MSC ordered at New Times Shipbuilding in 2022 are valued at almost $122 million each.
This vessel class is reportedly deployed on the Asia-South America or transpacific lanes.
MSC does not publish on newbuilding orders or vessel acquisitions, but if reports are accurate, MSC will have stretched its order book to 134 ships, totalling 1.84m TEU. The carrier expects delivery of 22 neo-Panamax and 14 megamax ships in 2023.
As container freight rates hit historical highs during Covid-19-related logistical problems, MSC has reportedly been the most active regarding fleet expansion via secondhand purchases and its new building orders.
In 2021, MSC acquired 411,000 TEU, and in 2022, it added 321,500 TEU, including some new buildings, helping the firm unseat Maersk Line from its top position on global liner rankings.
MSC’s fleet now is standing at approximately 4.6m TEU, which is about 379,000 TEU over its Danish peer, on losing out on 61,700 TEU in 2022 when it redelivered its chartered tonnage.
Despite ship sales getting halved as the freight market normalized, MSC continued trawling the need to secure second-hand vessels, picking up bargains as asset values dropped with the ongoing softening scenarios.
Last month, it bought the 2,824 TEU Carpathia built in 2003.
It purchased from MPC Container Ships for a whopping $21m – a valuation that halved from 2022’s April.
MSC’s latest newbuild orders increase the concentration of Zhoushan Changhong on box ships.
Besides, the shipyard has 23 box vessels to deliver to customers, including MSC’s subsidiary Log-In Logistica Intermodal and Navios Maritime Partners, a Greek tonnage provider.
Another client includes the Chinese liner operator Starocean Marine Co and Singapore’s X-Press Feeders.
References: Off Shore Energy Biz, LoadStar
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