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Ningbo Ocean Shipping Company (NBOSCO) has joined its peers in the newbuilding ‘arms race’.
The Ningbo Port Group subsidiary has ordered three 3,300 teu ships at Yangzijiang Shipbuilding and three 1,400 teu ships at Penglai Zhongbai Jinglu Ship Industry (commonly known as Jinglu Shipyard).
Yangzijiang is China’s largest non-state-owned shipbuilder, while Jinglu Shipyard is controlled by the government through a 51% stake held by Qingdao Military-Civilian Integration Development Group.
The newbuildings will be delivered from late 2023 to early 2024. The contract price was not disclosed, although a 3,300 teu newbuilding is now priced around $35m and a 1,400 teu around $23m.
NBOSCO has been expanding its liner service network from its East Asia focus, having launched new routes to South-east Asia as part of the Belt and Road initiative. Its main routes are Chinese domestic trades as well as China-Japan and China-Korea services.
NBOSCO said that its service offers its customers a connection between Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces and South-east Asia.
Ningbo Port Group plans to sell NBOSCO through a separate listing on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, although no timeframes have been given. It added that as its own port sees higher throughput, NBOSCO’s cargo volumes were growing in tandem. Ningbo-Zhoushan port is now China’s second-busiest container port after Shanghai.
NBOSCO is the 37th-largest liner operator, with total capacity of 35,588 teu and a fleet of 29 owned ships and 15 chartered vessels. The company is also awaiting delivery of four 1,868 teu ships from compatriot shipbuilder Yangfan Group, between this year and next.