MSC has continued its ship acquisition streak, purchasing a Panamax vessel from Pacific International Lines, which has been rightsizing its fleet.

The 2010-built 4,250TEU ship has been renamed MSC Langsar (ex-Kota Langsar) after being sold in mid-March but joined MSC’s fleet only in May. The purchase price was not disclosed but VesselsValue shows that MSC Langsar was valued at US$22.86 million at the time it was sold.

Container freight rates have been firming since mid-2020, resulting in growing demand for newbuildings and second-hand vessels.

VesselsValue shows that since September 2020, MSC has purchased 49 ships, ranging from feeders to post-Panamax units, including MSC Langsar.

The Swiss-Italian liner operator has four 24,000TEU ships on order at Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding and Jiangnan Shipyard, on top of lease commitments to other newbuildings commissioned by lessors such as Minsheng Financial Leasing.

With 3.97 million TEU of capacity, the second-largest liner operator is closing in on sector leader Maersk Line’s 4.11 million TEU. Meanwhile, PIL has been downsizing its fleet to strengthen its balance sheet.

The Singapore High Court sanctioned PIL’s debt restructuring on 3 March 2021, after the company’s bond holders voted on 1 February to accept PIL’s proposal to convert bonds to perpetual securities.

Since 2020, PIL has sold 25 container ships (including container-carrying multi-purpose vessels), causing it to drop out of the 10 largest liner operators. Now ranked twelfth, PIL has a total capacity of 250,600TEU, comprising 50 owned ships and 30 chartered vessels.

Source : Container-News