TS Dubai ex APL Austria Credit VesselFinder

TS Lines has sold an older pair of panamax containerships to MSC as the Taiwanese regional carrier restructures its fleet.

TS Lines offloaded the 2003-built 5,680 teu TS Mumbai and 2007-built 6,350 teu TS Dubai to MSC for $25m and $30m, respectively, according to brokers.

TS Mumbai (ex-Naxos) was bought for $25.5m in February 2021 and TS Dubai (ex-APL Austria) for over $43m in April 2021, during the container shipping boom.

Last month, The Loadstar reported the sales of the 2006-built TS Moji, 2019-built TS Shanghai and TS Yokohama, followed by the 2007-built 2,553 teu TS Manila, which has a market value of $15.42m. TS Lines bought the ship, formerly Port Adelaide, for just $6m in August 2020.

Although TS Lines has sold six ships within a month, brokers pointed out that the company’s newbuilding orderbook surpassed its in-service fleet. One said, “TS Lines may be conserving its cash flow ahead of its parent’s listing and, having refocused on regional trades after closing its long-haul routes, the company has to adjust its fleet size.”

Despite the market correction, TS Lines’ founding CEO, Chen Te-sheng, remains hopeful of listing holding company TS Group (Global) on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange this year. The group’s prospectus says that, as of 30 June 2022, it had $1.24bn cash in hand, against approximately $627m of loans and lease liabilities.

This month, TS Lines joined the Asia-Indian Subcontinent service operated by Sinokor Merchant Marine and Global Feeder Service, deplying the 4,380 teu TS Singapore, replacing SeaLead Shipping, which withdrew from the service in December.

TS Lines is now the 22nd largest liner operator, with 32 owned ships, of 74,000 teu, and 14 chartered ships, of 22,212 teu. The latest vessel sales will leave TS Lines with 26 in its owned fleet, with 23 ships, of over 98,000 teu, under construction.

Meanwhile, MSC’s persistent ship purchases show the industry leader is intent on consolidating its market share. VesselsValue’s figures suggest the carrier has bought 258 ships since 2020 and now has an owned fleet of 448 ships, of 2.24m teu, and 129, of 1.75m teu, on order.

Including chartered ships, MSC has a capacity of 4.77m teu, widening the gap on Maersk.

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