NOL to charter four post-Panamax containerships
Neptune Orient Lines, a Singapore-based container transportation and logistics group, has completed an agreement for the long-term charter of four post-Panamax containerships from Mitsui & Co. of Japan.
The vessels, to be delivered in 2007 and 2008, will each have a nominal capacity of 5,888 TEUs and will be built in Japan.
'We have secured the ships at a long-time charter rate of $24,300 a day, rates comparable with those seen five years ago. In today's climate, when charter rates are so high, this is highly competitive,' said Cheng Wai Keung, chairman of NOL.
'These charter agreements signal our attention to continue growing our fleet to meet demand. We will also increase our capacity through our strategic partnerships and alliances,' said David Lim, president and chief executive office of NOL.
Lim added that NOL had no immediate plans to order super-sized containerships, those in excess of 8,000-TEUs. 'It will make sense in the future to have larger ships in some trade lanes, such as Asia/Europe, and we are likely to place orders down the line,' Lim said. 'But the size of the ships we are chartering today will still be ideal and in use on key trade routes long into the future.'
The four post-Panamax vessels will increase APL's fleet of ships in the 5,000-6,000-TEU range to 16. APL is the container transportation arm of NOL.