Seaspan takes delivery of two new ships.
Containership owner Seaspan has taken delivery of two new vessels at a time when market sentiment is shifting and lines are under pressure from shippers to provide more capacity to meet the unexpected rebound in cargo volumes.
The 2,500 teu Guayaquil Bridge, delivered last week, was built by Jiangsu Yangzijiang Shipbuilding and will be chartered to K Line for 10 years at a fixed rate. This is the first of seven vessels that Seaspan will charter to the Japanese line.
The other new addition is the 8,500 teu Cosco Japan, built by Hyundai Heavy Industries, that has been fixed to Cosco Container Lines on a 12-year charter. This is the third of 18 vessels to be chartered the Chinese line.
New York-listed Seaspan, which will announce its latest results next Monday, has a contracted fleet of 68 containerships, of which 45 are in operation and another 23 will be delivered the coming 26 months. The company"s customer base consists of China Shipping, Maersk, Mitsui OSK Lines, Hapag-Lloyd, Cosco Container Lines, K Line and CSAV.
Although demand for containership space has picked up over the past three months, creating capacity shortages on some routes, lines are unsure whether this reflects a genuine recovery in consumer demand, or represents short-term inventory replenishment. If the latter, there is concern that market conditions could weaken again, once the stockbuilding has finished.
Nevertheless, owners such as Seaspan say they have been urged by their customers to deliver newbuildings early, given the recent surge in volumes and the problems of reactivating idle tonnage quickly.