Keelung, Taiwan-headquartered ocean container carrier Yang Ming has announced that it signed charter agreements on April 10 for four box ships of 11,000 TEU with ship-owning specialist Shoei Kisen Kaisa of Imabari City, Japan.
The four new ships will be delivered before the last quarter of 2022.
There is little detail about the transaction. Yang Ming said in a statement that, in addition to the four new ships, the company had previously ordered ten vessels of 11,000 TEU through long-term charters with Costamare and Shoei Kisen since 2018, which will be delivered between 2020 and 2022.
Describing the vessels as “eco-type” newbuildings, the new ships will “gradually replace” some of Yang Ming’s older vessels. The company adds that the new vessels are designed to be compliant with the IMO’s 2020 low sulfur regulations.
“With the new ships which will mitigate the pressure of high bunker prices and increased operating costs following the implementation of IMO 2020, Yang Ming will become more cost-competitive and environmentally friendly in the future,” the company said in a statement.
The company earned consolidated revenues of US$4.7 billion in 2018, according to the company’s latest annual report, which was 8.21 percent up on the previous year. However, the company made a net loss after tax of US$218.5 million.
Yang Ming said its results were affected by higher global bunker fuel prices, which had increased by 31.7 percent compared to 2017. “Freight rates struggled to rise to levels that could set off against higher bunker costs,” the company said when announcing its financial results.
It added that the IMO’s 2020 low sulfur regulations “will inevitably increase operating costs” and it concluded that the world fleet “may also see a number of older inefficient vessels scrapped in the near term.”
As at November 2018, Yang Ming operated a fleet of 101 vessels with a combined capacity of 643,000 TEU. Associated company Kuang Ming Shipping provides global bulk shipping services mostly through panamax vessels. The group has also invested in terminals at Kaohsiung and Taipei (both in Taiwan), Los Angeles and Antwerp (Belgium). Taipei, Taiwan headquartered YES Logistics is also a member of the group and it offers logistics services around the world.
Japanese ship owner Shoei Kisen was founded in 1962. It owns and manages a variety of vessels including bulkers, wood chip carriers, LNG ships, car carriers, tankers, and box ships. In addition to ship leasing, the company provides services such as engine maintenance and repair along with management of seafarers.