Evergreen Marine Corporation has confirmed plans to take 38 newbuilding feeder vessels on long-term charter.
Twenty-four 1,800 TEU ships and fourteen 2,500 TEU ships will be fixed on long-term charter from tonnage providers who have been invited to submit tenders to supply newbuildings.
In filings to the Taiwan Stock Exchange, Evergreen said that each of its subsidiaries, Greencompass Marine SA and Evergreen Marine (Hong Kong) Ltd, will charter a dozen 1,800 TEU ships and seven 2,500 TEU vessels.
The Taiwanese liner operator explained that the tenders were called with an intent to fulfil future requirements from 2020 to 2021.
Evergreen, which was featured in Fairplay’s Tonnage Titans, would not disclose how many feeder ships it is now operating. According to Alphaliner’s top 100 list, Evergreen operates 201 ships with 1,146,976 TEU of capacity. These comprise 114 owned ships of 576,682 TEU and 87 chartered ships of 570,294 TEU .
Evergreen has also committed to 20 11,000 TEU newbuildings, 8 of which were directly ordered from Samsung Heavy Industries and 12 units that will be on long-term charter from Shoei Kisen Kaisha. The latter is the shipowning affiliate of Imabari Shipbuilding, which is building the vessels. All 20 units are expected to be completed in 2020–21.
Media reported on 3 July that a shortage of feeder vessels would mean higher intra-Asia freight rates, boding well for operators in this segment. Taiwanese intra-Asia operator Wan Hai Lines has also signalled intent to order at least four feeder ships this year.