MSC takes secondhand spree past the 100-ship mark

Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) has taken its secondhand spending spree past the 100-ship mark in the space of just 12 months, essentially adding the equivalent of the entire fleet of Israeli carrier ZIM in a very short timeframe.

Alphaliner reports MSC has bought another four ships recently – the 2,572 teu Cosmos for $33m, the 1,794 teu Jennifer Schepers for $21m, the 1,740 teu Okee Ann Mari for $20m, and the 3,739 teu Xin Feng Yangzijiang for $30m.

The 103-ship figure over the past year includes 85 ships bought and running, as well purchase options on 18 ships of 1,100 to 1,400 teu that MSC has had on charter from SFL Corporation.

Alphaliner reckons MSC has added just under 400,000 teu in capacity via the secondhand market in the last year, the equivalent of the entire fleet size of Wan Hai Lines or ZIM by way of comparison.

“Despite the fast rise in asset values, it is probable that MSC will keep buying tonnage in the next months to address the ongoing shortage of container vessels in the charter market and beat pricey rates and long periods that NOOs demand to fix their ships,” Alphaliner stated in its most recent weekly report.

The gap between MSC, in second place, and Maersk at the top of the global liner rankings stands at around 120,000 teu. When its orderbook is taken into account, MSC is on track to overhaul its 2M partner at the top of the carrier leaderboard.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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