MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company has acquired four of what were once the world’s biggest container ships from AP Moller-Maersk.

The Swiss liner giant has taken over a series of vintage 9,600-teu vessels from its Danish partner that are jointly estimated to be worth a combined $120m.

This acquisition brings the total number of vessels in the same series that MSC has acquired from its 2M partner into double digits.

MSC is taking the 9,600-teu A.P. Moller, Caroline Maersk, Carsten Maersk and Cornelius Maersk (all built 2000), according to Alphaliner.

The ships are expected to be renamed, respectively, MSC Nicol X, MSC Jasmine X, MSC Denisse X and MSC Chiara X, the analyst added.

Although the value of the deal is not known, the ships are estimated to be worth around $30m each, up from $20m in December, according to VesselsValue estimates.

Perfect 10

MSC has now purchased 10 of the S-class vessels from its Danish rival since 2021.

They include the former MSC Domna X (ex-Sovereign Maersk, built 1997), which was once the world’s biggest container ship.

Others in the series include the 9,600-teu MSC Yukta X, MSC Fie X, MSC Vilda X, MSC Aby and MSC Ellen (all built between 1997 and 1999), which were all former Maersk vessels.

The S-class vessels belong to a series of 25 ships built for Maersk by Denmark’s Odense Staalskibsvaerft between 1996 and 2004.

Maersk said at first that the S-class vessel was only able to carry 6,000 teu, but the actual capacity turned out to be just over 8,000 teu.

The Sovereign Maersk was the first ship to pass through this capacity barrier.

In 2012, the 8,200-teu load was increased to 9,600 teu through a wheelhouse-raising exercise and deck-cargo maximisation

A larger version, the G-class and able to load 9,500 teu, was introduced in 2005.