Oslo-listed Color Group has quit the pure ro-ro sector with the sale of an elderly vessel.

The shipowner said its subsidiary — Color Line Transport — has found an unnamed buyer for the 1,775-lane metre Color Carrier (built 1998).

Delivery will take place in December or January.

“The sale of the vessel is at market terms with a consideration slightly above book value,” Color Group said.

The owner had signalled earlier in November that it was getting out of the pure ro-ro business and otherwise trimming its fleet with a plan to sell its two oldest vessels.

The 19,763-gt ropax Color Viking (built 1985) is also on the market.

A second disposal would leave the company with a five-ship fleet, one that will be more heavily weighted to passenger traffic, comprising three medium to large ropax ferries and two large cruise ferries.

The group is privately owned by the family of Olav Nils Sunde.

It operates regional services from southern Norwegian ports to Denmark, Sweden and Germany under the brand name of Color Line.

The Color Carrier is Color Line’s only pure ro-ro.

Profit to improve

The vessel was purchased from Finnlines in 2018 to supplement the cargo side of the company’s Oslo-to-Kiel business, with encouragement from the Norwegian government in the form of an environmental subsidy meant to get truck cargo off the road and onto the water.

The two sales are expected to improve operating results by about NOK 50m ($4.8m) next year.

Spokesman Erik Brynhildsbakken told TradeWinds that the figure does not reflect sales proceeds, only net operating cost reductions.

And he did not rule out a return to pure ro-ro business.

“Of course, we maintain our interest in ro-ro when it comes to cargo handling,” Brynhildsbakken said. “As for vessels, we will as always continue to follow the market closely and maintain our optionality.”