TAIPEI — Wan Hai Lines Ltd., a Taiwan-based container shipping company, took delivery of a new 1,805 twenty foot equivalent unit (TEU) vessel from ship builder CSBC Corp., Taiwan, to expand its fleet capacity.
The new boat, named Wan Hai 272, is equipped with an advanced global positioning system for navigation to improve safety, while being installed with energy efficient equipment to lower pollution and meet global environmental protection requirements, the company said.
Wan Hai 272 is the second 1,805 TEU vessel received by Wan Hai Lines from CSBC. The shipper is scheduled to take delivery of another 1,805 TEU boat from CSBC in January.
According to its contract with CSBC, Wan Hai Lines commissioned the building of 14 ships, and will take delivery of the remaining vessels over the next two years. They include one 1,805 TEU boat, four 1,000 TEU ships and six 4,500 TEU vessels.
TEUs are the measurement of capacity of a container vessel.
Currently, the shipping firm operates a fleet of 80 vessels, 62 of which are self-owned and the remaining 18 are rented.
Market analysts said the global shipping industry is faced with weakening demand as the world’s economic fundamentals have turned sluggish amid the debt crisis in Europe, while the sector is also suffering a glut in capacity.
In the first nine months of this year, Wan Hai Lines posted NT$536 million in net profit, sharply lower than NT$4.65 billion in net profit recorded a year earlier.
However, the analysts said, in a down cycle of the market, shippers could enjoy falling shipbuilding costs as the prices of steel, which is the major raw material for ship construction, are on the decline.
The analysts said Wan Hai Lines simply seized the opportunity to invest and expand and is waiting for a recovery in demand.