Chinese shipowners Cosco Shipping, Sinotrans & CSC, and Zhonggu Shipping have signed an agreement to jointly invest in six 1,140 teu newbuilding containership as part of a demonstration project to develop river-sea shipping.
Under the agreement, the three companies will order the six vessels at WUT Guangda Shipbuilding, a joint venture established by WUT Ship and Ezhou Guangda Shipbuilding in June. The total value of the contract is around RMB300m ($45m).
Construction of the vessels will start by the end of this year, and all of the vessels will be deployed on river-sea routes from Wuhan to Shanghai upon delivery during 2018 and 2019.
According to Wuhan New Port, currently there are 18 vessels with total capacity of 10,270 teu operating direct shipping service between Wuhan and Shanghai, and the six new vessels will increase capacity on the route by 60%.
The companies expect the newbuilding project to promote the standardisation of ships on Yangtze River, something the Ministry of Transport has been making efforts to achieve for years.