The rush to build new containerships is continuing with orders poised to set a record for the total orderbook before the end of 2021. With its new ultra-large containership, the Ever Ace, still on its maiden voyage, Evergreen Marine confirmed that it placed an order valued at nearly $1.1 billion for feeder ships as the Taiwanese carrier continues the rapid buildout of its fleet.
The new construction contract detailed in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange said that the company has ordered a total of 24 containerships with prices ranging between $28 and $51 million per vessel. The vessels will be built in China at the CSSC Huangpu Wenchong Shipbuilding Company. No delivery dates were announced.
In this new order, Evergreen is seeking to enhance its position in smaller vessels after having previously contracted for larger inter-ocean boxhships. The new order consists of two vessels each with a capacity of 1,800 TEU as well as two sets of 11 ships each, one class with a capacity of 2,300 TEU and the other class with a capacity of 3,000 TU. Evergreen said that the vessels were all for operational purposes, but did not specify if they would all be fleet expansion or used to modernize and replace older ships.
Alphaliner currently ranks Evergreen as the seventh-largest containership firm with a capacity of nearly 1.7 million TEU, which gives the company a better than five percent market share based on capacity. The orders are set to advance Evergreen past ONE Network Express and possibly past Hapag-Lloyd to achieve either the sixth or fifth place ranking from Alphaliner.
This summer, Evergreen took delivery of the first of its new, largest vessels. The Ever Ace, with a rated capacity of 23,992 TEU became the largest containership by capacity. Four additional vessels are due for delivery this year in a class of a total of 12 ULCCs.
Evergreen also announced plans in March of this year to build a new class of 15,000 TEU containerships. The order was confirmed this summer with a total of 20 vessels costing nearly $2.5 billion.
At the end of August, industry trade group BIMCO released an analysis of the orderbook showing that containership construction had already nearly doubled in 2021. At that point, they reported that the orderbook stood at 5.3 million TEU, approximately 1.5 million TEU from an all-time high reached in July 2008. The latest order from Evergreen adds 61,900 TEU to the pending constructions, further increasing the likelihood that a new industry record could be reached before the end of 2021.