SITC Keelung (002)

Intra-Asia shipping group SITC International has extended its newbuilding string to nearly 30 ships, after SITC Shipowning, exercised options for eight more vessels at Yangzijiang Shipbuilding.

In a Hong Kong Stock Exchange filing on 2 June, SITC said the orders for four 2,600 teu ships and four of 1,800 teu were options attached to orders on 30 August and 19 December 2020.

The latest newbuilds, costing a total of $192m, will be constructed by Yangzijiang’s subsidiary yards, Jiangsu Yangzijiang Shipbuilding and Jiangsu New Yangzi Shipbuilding, with deliveries scheduled from November 2022 to May 2023.

The 2,600 teu ships will cost $27m each, and the 1,800 teu vessels $21m each.

SITC Shipowning exercised the options less than a week after splashing out on $153.6m on firm orders for eight 1,023 teu feeder ships at Dae Sun Shipbuilding & Engineering in South Korea on 27 May. This contract comes with options for another two. With earlier orders at Yangzijiang, the SITC group now has 28 newbuildings under construction.

SITC Container Lines is now the 16th-largest liner operator, with a total combined capacity of 142,875 teu, including 23 chartered vessels.

The unprecedented upswing in container freight rates across all routes is encouraging liner operators and tonnage providers to invest in newbuildings. Operators, particularly, believe that having more owned ships will mitigate the impact of rising charter costs.

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