THE Italian-Swiss Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC), the world’s second biggest box carrier, has made an eye catching purchase of 60 used containerships that puts Maersk’s top spot at risk.
Former Maersk COO Soren Toft, now MSC’s chief executive since 2019, has bought 60 secondhand ships, totalling 257,000 TEU, taking his fleet beyond the four million slot mark.
In fleet ranking, MSC is now just 120,000 slots behind 2M partner Maersk, the world’s biggest ocean carrier.
No carrier has ever bought so many ships on the secondhand market, noted Singapore’s Splash 247.
MSC has paid Eastern Pacific Shipping $42.5 million for the 5,018-TEU Kowloon Bay box ship, according to multiple broker.
This sale comes alongside other recent purchases including the 4,250-TEU Alabama, the 3,534-TEU Songa Haydn, the 2,564-TEU City of Hong Kong and the 2,492-TEU Oregon Trader taking the number of ships MSC has bought since August last year to 60, according Alphaliner.
“The extraordinary expansion of MSC’s owned fleet in the past months is unprecedented in the history of container shipping, with no carriers having ever tapped the second-hand market on such a scale,” said Alphaliner.
When its orderbook is included, MSC is well on track to overtake Maersk, the top container carrier for more than 25 years.
Said Alphaliner: “Although the value of second-hand assets has surged, the economics of buying rather than chartering ships still appear to make sense in the face of the continuously rising charter rates and the multi-year commitments that NOOs impose on charterers to fix their ships.”