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MSC’s secondhand boxship buying spree passes 300 mark

Photo: MSC MSC Isabella at berth in Singapore
Mediterranean Shipping Co’s (MSC) secondhand buying spree has hit the 300-vessel threshold according to analyst Alphaliner.

In its weekly newsletter Alphaliner said that MSC was reported to have purchased six vessels in recent days.

The latest acquisitions bring the total capacity acquired on the secondhand market by MSC in recent years to 1.2m teu a figure which alone would be equivalent to the world’s eighth largest container line sat between Ocean Network Express (ONE) with a 1.53m teu capacity fleet and HMM with a 816,000 teu capacity fleet.

The latest acquisitions are reported to include the 8,144 Maersk Surabaya, and the 5,570 Maersk Yamuna; the 5,364 teu vessels Ever Unific and Ever Uberty; the 4,506 teu Co Nagoya; and the 4,045 Pohorje.

Alphaliner highlighted the purchase of the 1999-built pair of vessels from Evergreen which had been expected to be sold for scrap.

“There was a time when Evergreen would only sell their used tonnage for demolition, or sell them and charter them back, to avoid giving them to competitors. However, the company has since changed its stance on this, it seems,” the newsletter said.

As of 5 April Alphaliner said MSC’s fleet consists of 743 vessels on the water with an aggregate capacity of 4.84m teu, an 18.2% share of total market capacity. The container line has a major newbuilding programme with a further 127 ships with a combined capacity of 1.7m teu on order, equivalent to 35.1% of its current fleet.

The newbuilding programme combined with MSC’s continued secondhand spree will cement its position as by far the largest container line going forward. It looks set to go it alone on teh major trades from 2025 when the 2M Alliance with Maersk comes to an end.