Taiwan’s CSBC Corp has sold four 3,000-teu container ship newbuildings that the shipyard “ordered under its own account” to Wan Hai Lines for between $212m and $230m.

In a regulatory filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange, Wan Hai disclosed that it has acquired the quartet for between $53m and $55m per ship.

The Asian liner company said there is a short supply of vessels for the boxship sector and the four newbuildings that it has bought from CSBC will be replacing some of the chartered vessels and older ships in its fleet.

Wan Hai did not disclose the service routes that the new ships will be trading when the yard delivers them.

Clarksons’ Shipping Intelligence Network (SIN) shows CSBC is slated to deliver the newbuildings in January, March, April and June 2023.

A state-owned shipyard, CSBC does not own any shipping company and the four 3,000-teu newbuildings was the company’s first commercial ship order that it booked under its own account.

It did not disclose the reason for “ordering” the large feeder boxships when it disclosed the newbuilding contract last year.

At that time, shipbuilding players believed CSBC did not want to leave the yard’s “early berths empty and sitting under the sun”. It took the opportunity of the strong containership newbuilding market to build some ships that liner companies need, while negotiations on newbuildings take place.

Alphaliner lists Wan Hai as the world’s 11th largest liner carrier with container ship capacity of 431,677-teu. It controls a total of 157 vessels, 101 owned and 56 chartered.

Clarksons shows Wan Hai has 38 container ships on order at shipyards in South Korea and Japan to be delivered by 2024, excluding the four 3,000-teu newbuildings at CSBC.

It has nine 13,100-teu vessels under construction at Samsung Heavy Industries and five 13,200-teu ships at Hyundai Heavy Industries. Japan Marine United is building 24 units of 3,055-teu for the company.

Wan Hai has also expanded its fleet with secondhand vessels. The company was reported to be the top buyer of secondhand container ships among Asian vessel owners last year. According to online database VesselsValue, Wan Hai purchased a total of 13 vessels with a combined capacity of 88,637-teu for $691.85m.

Last week, Wan Hai reported a net profit of TWD 30.14bn ($1bn) for second quarter of 2022, up 59% from the same period of last year, but down 26% from a quarter earlier.

High inflations, manufacturers’ inventory adjustments and fall in freight rates were cited as reasons that attributed to the decline in net profit.

Taiwan’s Wan Hai Lines is expanding and renewing its fleet with newbuildings. Photo: Ezek/Creative Commons