According to Alphaliner, Conro ships are disappearing from deep-water liner services: Italian operator Grimaldi took delivery of the 47,528 dwt ConRo GRAND ANTWERP last week (see page 2). It was the first delivery of a ship purpose-built to transport a mix of containers, vehicles and other rolling cargo on long-distance routes in six years, following the delivery of the 55,649 dwt ATLANTIC SUN to ACL’s transatlantic service (part of the Grimaldi Group ) in May 2017.
Alphaliner mentions that the youngest ConRos in the transatlantic fleet were delivered in 2018-2020 to US operators Crowley and Matson, but they have been excluded from our count of deepwater ConRos as these four ships were built for the deepwater trade. Jones Law to/from Hawaii or Port. Rich. If we exclude all ConRo and roro vessels operated on domestic or short sea routes, we see that Grimaldi Group, Linea Messina and the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) are the only three carriers left operating ConRo tonnage on long sea routes.
Grimaldi is by far the largest operator, with 35 ships in service connecting Europe and North America with West and Central Africa and the east coast of South America. The GREAT ANTWERP and her five sister ships were commissioned as a replacement for the older Grimaldi ships that have already been in service for 25 years, Alphaliner demarcates.
Alphaliner concludes by mentioning that since the average age of the Messina and Bahri offshore ConRo fleets is much younger, no new orders are expected from them. The Linea Messina fleet could even contract to one ship shortly, as the JOLLY QUARTZ has left its transatlantic network between the Mediterranean, East and South Africa, the Red Sea, the Middle East and India/Pakistan. The ConRo has moved to Norfolk and it is reported that she was sold to the American line Liberty Global Logistics for the transport of military cargo.