The spate of boxships ordered over the past six months is seeing radical shifts in the global liner rankings. When including their orderbooks, Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) is now on track to overhaul Maersk as the world’s largest liner, while France’s CMA CGM is on schedule to reclaim third spot from China’s Cosco.
MSC became the world’s second largest carrier in 2004, and since then, it and Maersk have continued to top the global ranking table compiled by Alphaliner, something Maersk has topped for more than a quarter of a century.
Over the past six months, MSC has been on an extraordinary secondhand tonnage buying phase, spending hundreds of millions of dollars on a huge variety of different sized boxships. Brokers Braemar ACM report today MSC has purchased the 925 teu sister vessels Perseus and Pictor for just over $5m each.
“With a number of other discussions in their final stages, we expect to report further MSC purchases shortly,” Braemar ACM stated today.
Returning to newbuildings, as of March 5 a total of 147 boxships had been ordered since the start of October 2020, compared to just 40 in the January to September period of last year, according to data from Clarkson Research Services.
The 363 ships on order equating to 2.9m slots represent 12.2% of the extant fleet on a slot basis and 10.8% on a dwt basis. Until the last quarter of 2020 this fleet to orderbook ratio had been in single figures.
Another notable climber in the Alphaliner top 100 carrier rankings when factoring in orderbooks is Evergreen from Taiwan. The carrier, which boasts the largest containership orderbook in the world, is set to jump past Japan’s Ocean Network Express (ONE) and Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd into fifth spot when all its ships deliver, so long as its rivals do not sign for more ships in the interim.
Among recent orders, another Taiwanese liner, Wan Hai Lines, stands out with broker Compass Maritime linking the Taipei-headquartered line to an order for nine 13,000 teu ships at South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries, priced at $110m per unit.