NYK inks conversion deals
JAPAN"S NYK Line has managed to scale back its already modest containership newbuilding programme by switching several orders to other ship types.
A pair of 9,300 teu ships that were to have been built by Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries has been replaced by two 300,000 dwt very large crude carriers, NYK confirmed today. The tankers will be delivered in the latter half of the 2011-2012 financial year.
NYK had originally ordered five ships of this class from the Japanese yard, but will now take just three instead.
A series of smaller 4,500 teu ships ordered from Hyundai Heavy Industries has also been renegotiated. The original nine-ship contract for wide-beamed containerships has been trimmed down to four, with NYK converting the order to three capesize bulkers and a pair of long-range two product tankers.
NYK said there had been no price penalties as a result of the orderbook shuffle.
The Japanese line, which now only appears to have a total of three 9,300 teu ships on order and a handful of 4,500 teu units, has made no secret of its wish to reduce the size of the orderbook, given market conditions and prospects.
?We continued the efforts we undertook through the fiscal first half to consolidate our fleet, and average freight rates were up compared with the fiscal second quarter on almost all routes as the supply-demand balance improved further with transport volumes, retreating only minimally during the low-demand winter season,? the company said in a statement last month on its April-December results.
?We also continued efforts to cut costs by reducing the number of vessels in operation and other means, and results for some routes, including European and Latin American routes, were up year over year, but the liner trade segment overall significantly underperformed the year-ago third quarter.?
Virtually every containership owner and operator with ships on order has been trying to cancel contracts, delay delivery, or convert to other ship types, albeit with limited success. Those efforts are continuing, though, with NYK"s successful renegotiation one of the few to come to light.
The revised contracts were concluded at the end of last month, NYK said in a statement.
Separately, NYK said it would be introducing a peak season surcharge from March 1 for cargo from Asia to Europe of $325 per teu.