Seaspan Orders Six Containerships Continuing Newbuilds Record
Fueled by carriers’ efforts to expand capacity and modernize their fleets, Seaspan continues to add to the already record orderbook for new containerships. After announcing orders for two boxships last week and fixing a new long-term contract with COSCO Shipping for 17 boxships out to 2027, Seaspan today revealed yet another order for a total of 90,000 more TEU capacity due in 2024.
Seaspan has entered into an agreement with an unnamed “major shipyard” for six 15,000 TEU containerships. They reported that these vessels will begin delivery late in the first quarter and extending through the end of the second quarter of 2024. Seaspan builds the ships to the specifications of the individual client and in this case, the six containerships will be scrubber-fitted. Most of the new boxships they are building are conventional fuel with scrubbers, but they have also ordered LNG vessels for Zim. Upon completion, these new vessels like most of the ships Seaspan orders they 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 newbuilds. “This order further highlights our differentiated services, operational excellence, and ability to implement solutions tailored to our customer's changing requirements."
Seaspan said it anticipates financing these new vessels from additional borrowings as well as cash on hand. Generating strong cash flow and with long-term contacts with most of the world’s leading carriers, Seaspan has found the financial markets receptive to financing its staggering new orderbook.
Since December 2020 and including today’s announcement, Seaspan has ordered a total of 45 newbuilds ranging in size from 8,500 to 24,000 TEU. The company’s strategy is to focus on what has become the mid-sized range with all but four of the orders for vessels between 12,000 and 15,000 TEU. In addition, Seaspan has acquired four second-hand vessels, two of which have since been delivered, also in its target capacity.
While Seaspan generally does not disclose which customers, it is placing the orders for, the company works with all the major liner 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 charters for 13 new vessels from Seaspan, including the unique deal for the two 24,000 TEU boxships. Zim has agreed to charters for 10 dual-fuel LNG vessels and CMA CGM for two conventional vessels. ONE has agreed to charters for eight newbuilds. A total of 16 orders, mostly the newer ones, as well as two smaller 8,500 TEU vessels due this spring, are undisclosed.
The latest contracts add to the record run in containership orders in 2021. In the first five months of 2021, a total of 229 boxships, with a total capacity of 2.2 million TEU, were ordered, with a record 97 orders in March and 55 in April and May 2021, according to the trade association BIMCO. The orderbook has doubled in size since the fall of 2020 with a total of 4.35 million TEU capacity on order.