Interasia Lines has ordered a trio of 3,000-teu containerships at Nihon Shipyard (NSY) in Japan, according to local reports.

The order marks a change in direction for the Tokyo-based company which has mostly relied on the second-hand and charter markets for its tonnage over recent years.

Last year Interasia Lines ranked among the top 10 Asian buyers of second-hand container ships, according to VesselsValue.

No price has been declared for the three-ship order which will be delivered by the end of 2024.

The ships will be built to the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) phase 3 standard which will be mandatory for newbuildings contracted after 2025.

In June last year, Taiwan’s Wan Hai Lines ordered a series of 3,055-teu container ships at Nihon Shipyard which were priced at $48.8m for each ship.

Brokers suggest container ship newbuilding prices have hardened by at least another 4% since then.

It is understood the Interasia Lines ships will be built at one of Japan Marine United’s (JMU) Shipyards. JMU is a partner in Nihon Shipyard with Imabari Shipbuilding.

Interasia Lines, founded in Tokyo in 1967, operates mostly between Japan and the south Asia region.

It controls a fleet of 13 container ships between 908-teu and 4,253-teu.