Shoei Kisen’s huge orderbook will see its box fleet double in size this decade

Shoei Kisen Kaisha, the shipowning arm of Japanese yard Imabari Shipbuilding, is set to control the world’s third largest non-operating box fleet once its huge swathe of ships ordered deliver in the coming couple of years.

Data carried in the latest weekly report from Alphaliner shows Shoei Kisen has more ships on order than all the other non-operating owners combined and once it all delivers the company will leap from 13th to third in the rankings of non-operating owners with just China Shipping and Seaspan ahead of it.

As well as providing significant tonnage to Japan’s big three lines – MOL, K Line and NYK – Shoei Kisen also has long term charters to many other big names in container shipping including OOCL, APL and Yang Ming. Its most recent addition is also its largest – the MOL Truth, the first 20,000 teu class ship built on Japanese soil.

In addition to its container exposure, Shoei Kisen is a very sizeable player in dry bulk, tankers, car carriers and LNG. Excluding car carriers, the company’s fleet – plus orderbook – is worth $5.89bn, according to data from VesselsValue.


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.


  1. This does not mean that these ships will be built in the immediate future. It is common Japanese practice to order numbers of ships ahead of changes in regulations and then, as it were, keep them on the shelf until actual demand arises. They are then built to older specifications giving the buyer a cost advantage over vessels having to incorporate new regulatory requirements. The introduction of the requirement for ballast tank linings in the mid 2000s saw a similar pattern in ordering dry bulk carriers

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