SITC International, the parent company of intra-Asia carrier SITC Container Lines, continued its tonnage run, booking ten 1,800 TEU ships at China’s Huanghai Shipbuilding on 29 April.
Huanghai did not disclose the newbuilding price, but based on similar ships ordered at the shipyard this year, the price is around US$32.6 million each.
Each vessel has a 171.9m length, a 28.4m width and a 14.5m height. China Classification Society has been chosen to class the ships.
SITC, which saw its 2021 net profit soar 230% to US$1.17 billion, now has 46 ships on order. The company has fifteen 2,400 to 2,700 TEU and eleven 1,800 TEU ships on order at Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, another Chinese shipyard, for delivery in 2022 to 2023. At South Korea’s Dae Sun Shipbuilding & Engineering, SITC is building ten 1,023 TEU ships that are scheduled for completion in 2022 to 2024.
It is SITC’s maiden collaboration with Huanghai, a mid-tier Chinese shipyard.
The unprecedented spike in container freight rates to historical highs have convinced liner operators and tonnage providers to order more ships, and in 2021, a record 555 container ships were ordered.
Major shipbuilders are more or less full with orders to 2025, causing customers to consider mid-tier, less well-known shipyards to ensure earlier deliveries.
While the delivery date for SITC’s orders at Huanghai was not mentioned, the ships would likely be ready in 2024. Huanghai has 18 other feeder vessels on order and these will be completed between 2022 and 2024.
Separately, SITC, which had disclosed plans to sell all its bulk carriers to focus on container shipping, has now sold four of its seven bulkers.