Dutch owner Seatrade is looking to follow up its latest container ship order with more deals and potential alliances with other operators.

The company confirmed it has declared ships five and six in a series of 1,800-teu reefer boxships being built at Huanghai Shipyard in Shandong in China.

This was first reported by TradeWinds this week.

The company said the move means its “renewal strategy is taking another step forward into the future”.

The first four in the series are named Seatrade Chile, Seatrade Peru, Seatrade Colombia and Seatrade Ecuador, while the new pair will be called Seatrade Panama and Seatrade Curacoa.

The reefer group’s move into boxships was made in the expectation that key ports would be fully containerised within years.

The company, which operates from offices in Antwerp and Groningen, placed an order for the first four vessels last year.

Deliveries are scheduled from this year into 2025.

The modern reefer container vessels have been designed to be highly efficient whilst promoting sustainability, Seatrade said.

Each is equipped with more than 600 reefer plugs and geared with 40-tonne cranes.

Fast and direct

They will be employed in current and newly developed trades and will form an integrated part of the fast, direct and dedicated (FFD) concept developed by Seatrade in recent years.

The owner noted that transit times and associated indirect costs are increasing on services operated by larger container lines.

“There remains a clear demand for FDD services operated by specialised reefers, specialised container vessels and hybrid vessels going forward,” it said.

“Seatrade is also seeking opportunities to increase its fleet with further acquisitions of newbuildings and/or modern secondhand tonnage, combined with possible strategic alliances with customer groups and/or third-party owners in the same segment,” chairman Yntze Buitenwerf said.

“We are excited about the prospects this extended newbuilding programme brings to our operations and look forward to its positive impact on our business and the world around us.”

The company is also listed with a 2,254-teu sub-panamax boxship on order at Zhejiang East Coast Shipbuilding in China for delivery this year.

VesselsValue lists the group with a fleet of 42 operational ships, comprising 39 reefers and three small tankers.

Seatrade’s website lists 55 specialised reefer vessels or high-reefer boxships.