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Evergreen finalises feeder newbuildings, adjusts charter plans


Evergreen Marine Corporation has confirmed orders for four 2,500 teu box ships.The Taiwanese liner operator said in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange that the newbuildings have been commissioned at Jiangnan Shipyard (Group) Co, Ltd of China. Delivery is set for 2020.

Collectively, the ships are priced at USD124–140 million, working out to USD31–35 million, and would be registered to Evergreen’s Hong Kong-incorporated subsidiary, Evergreen Marine (Hong Kong) Ltd.Shipbrokers stated that the order comes with options for another four vessels.

Separately, Evergreen disclosed that its management has decided to adjust its plans with regard to long-term bareboat charters of feeder vessels.

Evergreen Marine (Hong Kong) Ltd and Peony Investment will each charter a dozen 1,800 teu ships and five 2,500 teu ships. This is a reduction from Evergreen’s earlier announcement, in August, that its subsidiaries would each charter a dozen 1,800 teu ships and seven 2,500 teu ships.

Evergreen explained that the moderation was made after reviewing its fleet strategy.Discussions with the tonnage providers are still under way.Tonnage providers said to be under consideration for the charter contracts are Shoei Kisen Kaisha, Mitsui & Co, and Jinyu Shipping.

The company’s announcement comes just days after its compatriot rival, Wan Hai Lines, finalised a substantial newbuilding order for 20 feeder ships.

Taiwan’s three largest container shipping businesses have commissioned newbuildings this year.In August, Yang Ming Marine Transport places 10 orders for 2,800 teu container ships from CSBC Corporation, with options for another four units.

Evergreen has also committed to 20 11,000 teu newbuildings, 8 of which were directly ordered from Samsung Heavy Industries and 12 units that will be on long-term charter from Shoei Kisen Kaisha. The latter is the shipowning affiliate of Imabari Shipbuilding, which is building the vessels. All 20 units are expected to be completed from 2020–21.

As 2018 draws to a close, more than 100 feeder ships have been contracted from shipbuilders as operators renew their fleet of smaller ships. This already exceeds the 50 feeder ships that were contracted in the entire 2017.

The focus on mega container ships in the early years of this decade saw liner operators ordering mainly this vessel type.

A high number of demolitions and an ageing fleet have caused charter rates for feeder ships to rise, and operators are increasing their owned fleet to reduce charter costs. Charter rates are now at a three-year high of USD8,000–11,000/day