Despite A Drop In Rates, Aponte’s MSC Continues To Build New Container Ships


At Zhoushan Changhong, the liner operator has reserved 10 LNG-dual-fuelled neo-Panamax boxships, as reported by Trade Winds.

Declining freight rates

According to shipbuilding sources, the liner behemoth MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company’s thirst for new structures has not been curbed by declining container freight rates.

The largest liner operator in the world, which, excluding chartered new buildings, has 66 container ships under construction in South Korea and China, is rumoured to have placed an order for 10 LNG dual-fuelled neo-panamaxes at a Chinese shipyard.

The sources further stated that Zhoushan Changhong International Shipyard had been hired by the Gianluigi Aponte-controlled business to construct the 11,400-TEU vessels for delivery in 2025 and 2026.

Bank refund

According to sources, MSC and Zhoushan Changhong signed the contract last month, but nothing was said about it. The agreement between the two businesses will go into force once bank refund guarantees for new buildings are in place.

Zhoushan Changhong receives its first agreement for dual-fuelled LNG boxships through the MSC contract. They will also be the biggest container ships ever built by the Chinese shipyard.

Changhong is regarded as a boxship expert and has primarily produced feeder ships up to this point. However, it was given a contract to build 10 units, each of 5,600 teu, by Navios Maritime Partners, which is directed by Angeliki Frangou. The delivery of the Panamax ships, which will run on regular marine petroleum, is planned to take place between September of this year and December 2024.

Increased fleet size

According to shipbuilding sources, MSC pays little under $120 million for each ship. Type-B LNG tanks will be put on them.

Despite declining charter prices for cargo ships, brokers characterised the pricing as “solid.”

One broker speculated that the early delivery dates for the vessels may be to blame for the price’s strength.

Over the last two years, MSC has rapidly increased the size of its fleet by ordering new structures, purchasing used ships, and chartering ships. It is believed that the business expanded its fleet by more than 260 ships.

The 2,842-TEU MSC Carpathia III (ex-Carpathia, constructed 2003), one of two ships German company MPC Container Ships sold in December, was reportedly purchased by MSC earlier this month.

Additionally, it reportedly bought the 2,478-teu Buxcontact (built 2002) from German ship manager NSB Group and the 4,294-teu Northern General (built 2008) from V.Ships Hamburg.

Since August 2020, MSC has purchased 263 used ships totalling 1 million teu, valued at close to $10 billion, according to Alphaliner. According to Linerlytica, MSC has 146 new buildings, including chartered boats, in its order book.

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Source: Trade Winds