Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) is set to close the gap with its nearest rival, Maersk, throughout 2019, taking more newbuilding slots than any other carrier over the coming 12 months.
The Geneva-headquartered line will take on 20 ships this year, aggregating a total capacity of 334,550 teu, according to data from Alphaliner.
The carrier’s orderbook includes eight 23,000 teu ships under construction in South Korea, all of which will be deployed on the Asia – North Europe tradelane.
MSC also recently fixed five 14,300 teu newbuildings on long-term charter from Zodiac Maritime for delivery during the second half of the year.
The shipping line also has seven ships of 10,700 to 11,500 teu due from China’s Jinhai Heavy Industries in the first half of 2019. Deliveries of these ships have been delayed from 2018, and some of the vessels could be delayed even further, Alphaliner suggested in its latest weekly report.
In addition to its newbuilds, Alphaliner is reporting MSC will launch a vessel jumboisation program this year that will see a series of 14,000 teu ships become 17,000 teu in capacity.
Latest statistics from Alphaliner show that, including their orderbooks, Maersk with around 4.1m slots enjoys a near 800,000 teu lead over its 2M partner, MSC.