Bangladeshi feeder operator HR Lines has confirmed to The Loadstar it is negotiating with a Chinese shipbuilder to order a number of containerships.

In October, several shipbroking reports mentioned that a Bangladeshi customer had ordered four 2,900 teu ships from Fujian Mawei Shipbuilding for delivery late 2023 to mid-2024, leading to market talk that HR Lines was behind the order.

HR Lines MD Raimah Chowdhury said, “HR is in advanced discussions with Fujian for a number of new containerships. We will be making an announcement in this regard by the end of November.”

HR Lines is part of the Karnaphuli group founded by Hedayat Hossain Chowdhury in 1954, with business interests spanning ports, shipping, media, healthcare, real estate, retail and insurance/finance. Before starting HR Lines, the group’s involvement in the liner sector was via companies that acted as agents for mainline operators in Bangladesh.

HR Lines was incorporated in March 2020 to respond to demand for liner shipping services catering to Bangladeshi imports and exports. Shortly after, the company purchased two 1,550 teu ships from Singapore’s Pacific International Lines (PIL),  the HR Sahare (ex-Kota Wajar) and HR Sarera (ex-Kota Waris), to launch liner services to/from Bangladesh in July 2020.

Ms Chowdhury said HR Lines had purchased four more vessels from PIL since then, the 1996-built 1,550 teu HR Aarai (ex-Kota Wangsa) and HR Farha (ex-Kota Wangi) and the 1999-built 1,454 teu HR Rhea (ex-Kota Anggerik) and HR Hera (ex-Kota Arif).

The HR Sahare, HR Sarera, HR Farha and HR Aarai are deployed on HR Lines’ Colombo-Chattogram Express service, while the HR Rhea and HR Hera are deployed on the Bangladesh Express Service, which calls at Chattogram, Singapore and Port Klang.

Source : The Loadstar