Thailand’s Regional Carrier Lines (RCL) has returned to CSSC-affiliated Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding with a new contract for the construction of two more 7,000 teu containerships.
No price has been revealed for the latest order. For the first pair ordered in March this year, the Bangkok-based carrier paid $85m per vessel, with deliveries set for October 2024 and May 2025, respectively. The newbuildings will be 272.5 m long and meet the requirements of Tier III emission standard of the IMO and EEDI phase III.
Up until the start of the pandemic, the 7,000 teu boxship class was relatively maligned, but over the last couple of years, it has become one of the most popular orders.
According to Alphaliner, there are now around 120 of this ship class on order, described as C7K.
“The sheer number of ships that will come on stream until 2025 will make the ‘C7K’ a versatile ‘standard type’ that should find employment in many corners of a carrier’s network,” Alphaliner stated in its most recent weekly report.
RCL currently stands 25th on Alphaliner’s list of largest carriers, with 39 ships in its fleet and a capacity of 73,682 teu. At the end of March, the company booked slots at Nihon Shipyard, a joint venture between Japan’s Imabari Shipbuilding and Japan Marine United, for a pair of 12,000 teu newbuilds in a deal worth around $266m.