MSC Acquires Two Container Ships Under Construction in China

The MSC Yokohama and a tugboat
Updated Published

As container shipping companies and tonnage providers scramble for available newbuild slots, Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) has acquired two containerships under construction in China from BAL Container Line.

In a filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, BAL’s parent company, LC Logistics, revealed that MSC had taken over contracts for two 14,000 TEU boxships at Jiangnan Shipyard in a deal exceeding $330 million.

BAL, registered in Hong Kong, initially ordered these vessels in June 2022, with the first payments of $84.3 million already made. MSC will pay BAL $133.3 million, allowing BAL to profit approximately $49 million, while the Swiss-based carrier will assume the remaining $196.7 million in shipbuilding costs and reimburse BAL $3.3 million for equipment orders.

BAL will continue to manage the construction of the ships, which are expected to be delivered in 2025. The company, which has recently resumed its service between China and Mexico, reportedly has options for up to four more 14,000 TEU units at Jiangnan, according to shipbuilding sources.

Meanwhile, MSC, led by Gianluigi Aponte, has been expanding its capacity to secure its position at the top of the liner rankings. Analysts at Alphaliner predict that MSC's market share will match the combined shares of Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd with the launch of the Gemini Cooperation early next year.