Greece’s Danaos Corp is said to have signed an order worth more than $400m for four 9,000-teu container ships with a Chinese shipyard.

The New York-listed owner placed the order for conventionally fuelled vessels with Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co, sources said.

The ships are said to be costing about $105m each, or well over $400m in total.

They are slated for delivery in 2027 and early 2028, according to broking and analyst reports.

If confirmed, the deal would be the owner’s second neo-panamax newbuildings deal this year.

In February, it signed a $188.4m deal for two 8,258-teu boxships to be built at Yangzijiang Shipbuilding in China.

These are for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2026 and the first quarter of 2027.

That left Danaos with six vessels of 8,258 teu, which are fixed to Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd on three-year charters at rates of about $45,000 per day.

ONE snaps up 7,900-teu duo

It is unclear whether the latest ships have been ordered on the back of a charter.

Danaos did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Demand for this size of container ship remains very strong with liner operators snapping up tonnage.

Angeliki Frangou, chief executive of Navios, is linked to charters of newbuildings to Ocean Network Express. Photo: TradeWinds Events

Liner giant Ocean Network Express is believed to have taken a brace of 7,900-teu newbuildings under construction at South Korean shipbuilder HJ Shipbuilding & Construction for delivery in 2026.

The charters are four years plus an option for two years, at $43,000 a day for the firm periods and $47,500 a day for the options, brokers said.

In June, the shipbuilder reported it had taken orders for a brace of conventionally powered vessels costing $110m each from an unidentified European owner, believed to be Navios of Greece.

That contract ended an order drought at HJ Shipbuilding of over a year.

The last newbuilding contract signed by the Busan-based shipyard was in February 2023, when domestic owner HMM ordered two 9,000-teu container ships.

Growing portfolio

Danaos has inked 18 container ships in the 6,000-teu to 9,000-teu category that are under construction.

All are conventionally powered, although some of the ships are described as “prepared” for methanol upgrades.

The shipowner has taken delivery of three newbuildings this year.

The 8,010-teu Catherine C and Greenland (both built 2024) were delivered from DH Shipbuilding in May and June, while two sister ships — the Greenville and Greenfield — will follow later this year.

The Greenland started its commercial service with an off-schedule “extra sailer” voyage from Asia to the east coast of South America.

A third vessel, delivered in April, was the 7,165-teu Interasia Accelerate (built 2024), ahead of a sister ship scheduled for delivery from Dalian Shipbuilding in China later in the year.

A pair of 6,014-teu boxships is being built at Qingdao Yangfan Shipbuilding for handover later this year and early next year.

Besides container ships, Danaos has also been active in the dry sector.

Earlier this year, Danaos confirmed the acquisition of two capesizes from the Foremost Group, for $52.8m en bloc, for delivery in April and July.

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