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MSC proceeds with fleet expansion strategy

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has ordered four more 24,200TEU container ships from Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding and Jiangnan Shipyard (Group), which are both subsidiaries of China State Shipbuilding Corporation and will equally split the orders.

Each ship is priced at US$150 million and will be delivered at the end of 2023, according to brokers.

In December 2020, MSC ordered six similar-sized vessels from Hudong-Zhonghua, Jiangnan and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, while the orders were equally assigned to each yard.

ICBC Financial Leasing and CSSC’s leasing unit, CSSC (Hong Kong) Shipping are said to be financing MSC’s latest orders.

The Swiss-based container line has reached 4 million TEU of operating capacity with 172 owned ships and 427 chartered vessels, closing in on market leader Maersk Line, whose capacity is 4.11 million TEU.

In the meantime, the Swiss-Italian operator has 40 ships of 724,760TEU on order, while four 23,000TEU vessels will be delivered from Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering this year. Furthermore, MSC ordered 13 16,000TEU boxships in April from two other CSSC yards, Guangzhou Shipyard International and Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company.

MSC has purchased 49 ships since September 2020, when the firming market resulted in a shortage of shipping capacity.

Additionally, earlier this month, the Geneva-headquartered carrier paid US$14 million for the Contship Hub and Contship Gem, two 2003-built, 1,102TEU ships that the company already had on charter.

Martina Li
Asia Correspondent

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