Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) has ordered four 7,000TEU container ships at China's New Times Shipbuilding, after securing a five to seven years charter agreement with the Singaporean carrier, X-Press Feeders.
The order is attached with options for two additional vessels, with the newbuildings scheduled for delivery from late 2023 to mid-2024.
The Idan Ofer-controlled Singapore-based EPS will pay approximately US$70 million for each new vessel, while it is the company's first order at New Times, having previously turned to South Korean yards for this type of vessel.
Liner operators and tonnage providers seem to be inclined to 7,000TEU ships, as vessels of such a size can carry containers between East Asia and the Persian Gulf.
The current orderbook stands at around 18% of the global fleet, much of it being feeder vessels, Neo-Panamaxes and ultra-large container ships.
A handful of 7,000TEU vessels are on order from companies such as Asiatic Lloyd and X-Press Feeders’ parent Sea Consortium, which have contracted these newbuildings at Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company and Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding in China.
In the meantime, Taiwanese liner operator TS Lines boss Chen Te-sheng said in May that his company is discussing orders for four 7,000TEU ships, reportedly with Shanghai Waigaoqiao. Additionally, the Canadian tonnage provider Seaspan Corporation is also said to be negotiating with yards in China, Japan and South Korea for around 20 such ships.