Greece’s Contships Management, the world’s largest independent owner of feeder ships with a capacity between 900 teu and 1,500 teu, has resumed acquisitions.
The Nikolas Pateras-led company acquired the 966-teu Vega Scorpio (built 2010) at an undisclosed price and with prompt delivery in the Caribbean, market sources said.
VesselsValue estimates the Yangfan Zhoushan-built vessel is currently worth around $9m.
Pateras has bought more than 50 feeder ships since setting up the company from scratch in 2015 — most of them from German owners.
Nine of these vessels, including the Vega Scorpio, have come from Vega Reederei alone. Contships already has another seven sister ships of the Vega Scorpio in its fleet, which now comprises 47 boxships in the said size range.
Contships is betting that feeders will remain popular with charterers and enjoy ample trading opportunities due to a lack of port infrastructure to handle bigger vessels in some parts of the world.
The sector’s age structure is another factor encouraging the Greek owner.
According to analysts, approximately one-fourth of the feeder capacity in which Contships operates is over 25 years old and likely to be sold for demolition soon. This shift is anticipated to enhance trade profitability for the remaining fleet.
Smaller container ships have also benefited from disruption in the Red Sea lately.
According to Clarksons, a six to 12-month charter rate for a 1,000-teu feeder climbed by 11% month on month in February to $8,000 per day — its highest level since November.
Pateras made his latest acquisition last October, as previously reported by TradeWinds — MPC Containerships’ 1,500-teu AS Rosalia (renamed Contship Box, built 2009) at an undisclosed price.
The Greek owner is not averse to occasionally selling ships as well, when he sees an opportunity.
In November, Contships divested two of its youngest vessels: the 1,102-teu Contship Dax and Contship Rex (both built 2016). Both ships are now trading with Singapore-based Neptune Pacific Direct Line as the NPDL California and NPDL Tahiti, respectively.