Fueled by the efforts of carriers to increase capacity and modernize their fleets, Seaspan continues to grow the already record-breaking order backlog of new container ships. After announcing orders for two boxships last week and entering into a new long-term contract with COSCO Shipping for 17 boxships through 2027, Seaspan today unveiled a new order for a total of 90,000 additional TEUs of planned capacity. in 2024.
Seaspan has reached an agreement with an unnamed “large shipyard” for six 15,000 TEU container ships. They have indicated that these ships will start delivery at the end of the first quarter and until the end of the second quarter of 2024. Seaspan builds the ships to the specifications of the individual customer and in this case the six container ships will be equipped. of a washer. Most of the new box ships they are building are conventionally fueled with scrubbers, but they have also ordered LNG ships for Zim. When completed, these new vessels, like most vessels ordered by Seaspan, will enter into long-term charters with a global liner customer.
“Our customers continue to recognize the added value of our fully integrated platform,” said Bing Chen, Chairman, President and CEO of Seaspan, commenting on the latest new builds. “This order highlights our differentiated services, our operational excellence and our ability to implement solutions adapted to the changing needs of our customers.”
Seaspan said it plans to finance these new vessels from additional borrowing as well as cash on hand. Generating strong cash flow and with long-term contacts with most of the world’s major carriers, Seaspan has found the financial markets receptive to funding its staggering new backlog.
As of December 2020 and including today’s announcement, Seaspan has ordered a total of 45 new builds ranging from 8,500 to 24,000 TEUs. The company’s strategy is to focus on what has become the midsize range with all but four orders for vessels between 12,000 and 15,000 TEUs. In addition, Seaspan has acquired four used vessels, two of which have since been delivered, also in its target capacity.
While Seaspan does not generally disclose which customers it orders for, the company works with all of the major airline companies, including Maersk, MSC, COSCO, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, and ONE. Seaspan works with eight of the top 10 carriers, except Evergreen and HMM, as well as The Alliance, ONE and 2M Alliance.
MSC has agreed to charter 13 new ships from Seaspan, including the unique deal for the two 24,000 TEU boxships. Zim has accepted charters for 10 bi-fuel LNG vessels and CMA CGM for two conventional vessels. ONE has accepted charters for eight new constructions. A total of 16 orders, mostly the most recent, as well as two smaller 8,500 TEU vessels expected this spring, were not disclosed.
The latest contracts add to the record for container ship orders in 2021. In the first five months of 2021, a total of 229 boxships, with a total capacity of 2.2 million TEUs, were ordered, with a record of 97 orders in March and 55 in April and May 2021, according to the professional association BIMCO. The order book has doubled in volume since autumn 2020 with a total of 4.35 million TEUs of capacity on order.