Wan Hai Lines has notched-up three separate deals worth $132m to purchase or charter three sub-panamax container ships.

The Taiwanese operator is forking out $46.5m to acquire a 2,525-teu from Lucretia Shipping of Japan.

The company will also charter two ships of a similar size for three-year charters in deals that are together worth more than $85m.

Wan Hai has agreed to charter one of five 2,220-teu vessels from New York-listed Global Ship Lease (GSL).

The charter deal with GSL 45 — a company listed as the owner of the 2,207-teu Kumasi (built 2002) — is for 3.25 years and is worth $43.5m.

Wan Hai has also agreed to charter another 2,741-teu vessel for $42.25m, also for a period of just over three years.

The vessel is taken from CV Six 45, the owner of the 2,741-teu Jeju Island (built 2006), which is managed by UK-based Borealis Maritime.

Spending spree

The deals show an impressive spending spree by the world's 10th largest liner operator into the sub-panamax sector.

The company has acquired 18 boxships since December 2020, according to estimates from VesselsValue.

Wan Hai has not named the latest sub-panamax boxship acquisition, although Lucretia is listed with just two vessels of this size.

These are the 2,550-teu MOL Success (built 2010) and St Ever (built 2011), which are managed by Osaka-based Santoku Senpaku.

The two ships currently operate with Japan's Ocean Network Express (ONE) and Taiwanese liner operator Evergreen.

Wan Hai has the firepower to launch a significant spending spree after securing $320m in funding to spend on secondhand acquisitions in early December.

That takes the total that Wan Hai has on hand to acquire vessels to over $520m.

The company is already behind the purchase of three 2,700-teu container vessels, which TradeWinds reported sold earlier this month in an en-bloc deal worth close to $150m.

The 2,782-teu California Trader and Carolina Trader (both built 2017) and Delaware Trader (built 2018) have been acquired from UK-based Lomar Shipping for between $48m and $49m each, according to market sources.

Wan Hai has also been linked to a $55m spend on a traditional panamax-sized boxship.

The unidentified vessel, built in 2003, is slated for delivery to Wan Hai in March or April 2022, according to UK brokers.

That is in line with the $65m that Danish giant Maersk is reportedly paying Japanese owners for the 4,506-teu Cosco Kawasaki (built 2010).