Montevideo Express Credit

Wan Hai Lines has splashed out with its latest newbuilding budget, ordering five more 13,100 teu containerships from Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea.

With them, the Taiwanese liner operator will have 18 neo-panamax vessels on order, including eight at Samsung and five at Hyundai Heavy Industries.

Wan Hai said in a Taiwan Stock Exchange filing on Friday the latest newbuildings were priced between $131.8m and $140m each, and would be delivered from 2024.

This means that, compared with the unit price of $120m Wan Hai is paying for its orders last May at Samsung, newbuilding prices have risen by at least 10%.

Primarily an intra-Asia carrier, Wan Hai launched solo transpacific services to the US west coast in 2020 and to the east coast last year to meet strong demand. The neo-panamax ships are likely to be assigned to these routes, signifying Wan Hai’s long-term commitment.

Wan Hai said the new ships would be energy efficient, meet the requirements of the latest environmental regulations and would receive the Smart Ship notation, given to digitally advanced ships by class society DNV.

The company said: “This vessel contract is the company’s latest fleet renewal plan to ensure that the company’s vessel fleet is able to maintain its competitiveness and support continuous market development.”

Currently, Wan Hai Lines, now the 11th largest container carrier, operates 146 containerships. But like many liner operators, it has been expanding its fleet with newbuilding orders and second-hand vessel purchases. On 16 March, the company announced that, besides allocating $700m for newbuildings, it had set aside $300m for more pre-owned ships, after purchasing 24 since 2020.

Comment on this article

You must be logged in to post a comment.