Reederei Nord has bought and sold two eco-feeder boxships including one that sees the Rickmers family return to acquiring container ships.

Hamburg-based Nord has taken control of one 1,700-teu eco-handymax vessel it had managed on behalf of private equity partners.

The company is also selling another of the popular Topaz-type vessels to Clasen Rickmers-controlled Asian Spirit Steamship Co (ASSC).

In the first deal, Nord purchased the 1,756-teu Josita B (built 2014) after a long auction process involving three bidders, a source close to the company said.

The price has not been confirmed but brokers reported that the ship was acquired for $16m.

In the second deal, 1,756-teu Nordocelot (built 2014) has been sold to ASSC, founded by the late Bertram Rickmers and run by his son Clasen.

“I can confirm that we were able to purchase the Nordocelot. It’s a fantastic vessel, great design and the timing worked out perfectly for us,” ASSC managing partner Clasen Rickmers told TradeWinds.

The two vessels were a series of 16 eco-handysize vessels that were originally ordered with private-equity partners with Nord as arranger, supervisor and manager.

Six were acquired by the Oldendorff family-controlled Nord.

The other 10 were at the time reported to have been financed by US financial firm AMA Capital Partners and Wayzata Investment Partners.

The source said that it was Nord’s private equity partner that had wanted to sell the Josita B.

Buying again

The move marks a return to buying boxships for ASSC after four years.

The company has not bought container ships in nearly since the purchase of the 4,255-teu Spirit of Hong Kong (ex-Morgana, built 2010) in 2020.

ASSC is listed with a fleet of five modern feedermax container ships and a platform supply vessel.

Nord, on the other hand, has been an active player in the small eco-boxship segment.

Last year, the company ordered four 1,900-teu vessels at CSSC Huangpu Wenchong Shipbuilding.

Two of those were sold in March to French carrier Marfret which will take delivery at the end of 2025.

The deals feature among a number of unconfirmed sale-and-purchase transactions involving Chinese owners. These include the 1,836-teu Bao Zhou Ci Tong (built 2024) which is reported sold to Malaysia-based buyers for $21.7m.