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Sinotrans Container Lines (Sinolines) has ordered another two 2,400 teu ships from Yangzijiang Shipbuilding.

The China state-owned intra-Asia carrier is in the process of being acquired by its affiliate, China Merchants Energy Shipping (CMES), and its latest newbuilding order comes seven months after a pair of similar ships, at $30m each, were ordered from the same shipyard.

In April, Sinolines also ordered two 1,100 teu vessels from another affiliate, China Merchants Jinling Shipyard, at $15m each. All the newbuildings, including the latest pair, are scheduled for delivery in 2023. The April orders were Sinolines’ first since 2013.

While the cost of the latest order was undisclosed, VesselsValue assesses the newbuild price of such vessels has now risen to $43m.

Sinolines, the 31st-largest liner operator, currently operates 31 ships, half are owned, with total capacity of 45,000 teu.

Yangzijiang is the largest private Chinese shipbuilder and while state-owned shipping companies tend to order vessels from state-owned shipyards, CMES chairman Xie Chunlin described the new order as a public-private partnership.

Liner operators and tonnage providers have been commissioning more newbuildings as container shipping experiences an unprecedented boom, and the global orderbook is 21% of the existing fleet, the highest among all shipping segments.

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