Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) is financing two 16,000TEU container ship orders through leasing arrangements with Japanese tonnage provider Doun Kisen.

The ships, ordered from Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company (DSIC) in March, are among 13 vessels that MSC commissioned at this yard and Guangzhou Shipyard International.

VesselsValue shows that earlier this month, the ships, labelled Dalian No. 2 C16K-1 and Dalian No. 2 C16K-2, became registered to the Panama-incorporated Mi-Das Line, Doun Kisen’s main ship-owning entity.

The other 11 vessels will be financed through leasing arrangements with Minsheng Financial Leasing, China Minsheng Bank’s leasing unit, and CSSC Hong Kong Shipping Company, the shipyards’ parent company, China State Shipbuilding Corporation.

Run by the Okochi family, Doun Kisen is one of Japan’s largest family-owned tonnage providers, which tend to be concentrated in Ehime prefecture.

A manager at Doun Kisen told Container News that the ships were acquired from MSC on leaseback terms.

Amid the red-hot container shipping market, MSC has been leading the way in fleet expansion, both through newbuilding orders and second-hand vessel purchases. The Swiss-Italian liner operator has bought more than 60 ships and has commissioned newbuildings, mainly through leasing agreements to remain asset-light.

On 21 October, Hong Kong-based South Korean-owned Cido Shipping reportedly ordered a pair of 15,600TEU LNG-fuelled ships at Hyundai Heavy Industries, supposedly for a long-term charter to MSC. These vessels are scheduled for delivery between late 2023 and early 2024.

MSC has also been suggested as the long-term charterer of four additional 15,000TEU ships that Zodiac Maritime ordered at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering this month.

Source : Container-News