Swiss-Italian liner giant MSC continues to build on its rise to the top of the liner operator rankings, going to New Times Shipbuilding of China for fourteen 7,000 TEU newbuildings.
MSC has a policy of not commenting on ship orders, although a contact at New Times confirmed the order to Container News. Delivery of the newbuildings, priced at more than US$1.68 billion, is expected between 2024 and 2025.
MSC is a first-time customer at New Times, which is also building four 13,000 TEU ships for Chartworld Shipping and seven 7,000 TEU ships for Eastern Pacific Shipping for delivery between 2023 and 2024.
Ships with a capacity of 7,000 TEU to 8000 TEU are increasingly popular as they can be deployed to mid-haul trades, such as the Far East-Persian Gulf, forcing out the 4,000 TEU to 5,000 TEU vessels that are now serving this lane.
More than 100 such newbuildings have been commissioned by companies such as Danaos Corporation, Seaspan Corporation, X-Press Feeders and TS Lines.
MSC, which now has 4.35 million TEU of capacity, from 325 owned ships and 339 chartered vessels, has 88 ships with a total capacity of 1.24 million TEU on order. The Geneva-headquartered company has also surpassed its 2M Alliance partner Maersk by more than 100,000 TEU in terms of container capacity, according to Alphaliner.