RCL orders 7,000 TEU pair as 2021 profit sets record
Regional Container Lines (RCL) has joined a growing number of ship owners who have ordered 7,000 TEU container ships.
The Thai liner operator announced on 25 February that it ordered two vessels of this size from Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding in China, for a total price of US$170 million. Payments will be made in five installments.
Waigaoqiao expects to deliver the ships in October 2024 and May 2025.
While RCL’s fleet is dominated by feeder and sub-Panamax ships, the company has also acquired a few second-hand Panamax ships. Last year, the company bought two 12,000 TEU newbuildings from Japanese tonnage provider Shoei Kisen Kaisha and has since chartered these ships to the Israeli box carrier ZIM.
The 7,000 TEU boxships are likely to be deployed to RCL’s Persian Gulf services.
The newbuilding orders coincided with RCL achieving an all-time high full-year net profit of US$539.45 million in 2021, up 930% from 2020, while net profit in Q4 2021 alone totalled US$243.5 million, which was up 544% from Q4 2020.
RCL managing director Sumatra Tanthuwanit said that the Q4 earnings exceeded the company’s expectations.