Evergreen is increasing its fleet and outfitting capacity with an order for two 24,000 teu vessels from Chinese shipyard Jiangnan and 55,500 containers from three manufacturers.
The new vessels will cost between $140 million and $160 million each and are scheduled for delivery in 2024-2025.
The new containers will cost Evergreen $338.5 million: $27,500 from Dong Fang International Container (Hong Kong), $15,000 from Guangdong Fuwa Equipment and $13,000 from CXIC Group. These are 20-foot and 40-foot units and will be delivered in mid-2022.
Among the liner operators, Evergreen now has the most newbuilding orders, with 78 vessels under construction. Alphaliner estimates Evergreen’s order book-to-fleet ratio to be around 45%.
In September, Evergreen ordered 24 vessels from another Chinese shipyard, CSSC Huangpu Wenchong Shipbuilding, 20 15,000 teu vessels from Samsung Heavy Industries in March and two 24,000 teu vessels from Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding in June, as well as four 24,000 teu vessels from Jiangnan Shipyard due for completion next year.
Evergreen president Eric Hsieh recently stated, “We have never seen such high freight rates and the current situation is quite positive for the future business prospects of liner operators.”
In his view, the galloping increase in freight rates is mainly due to supply and demand dynamics, adding that in the first eight months of 2021, cargo volumes on the Asia-US West Coast and East Coast routes have increased by 30% and 25%, year-on-year, respectively, driven by rising electronics exports.
This has sent Evergreen’s net profits soaring, up 1,347% year-on-year in the first three quarters of this year to $5.69 billion.
Congestion at U.S. West Coast ports is also underpinning freight rates, as vessel supply is down 12% due to waiting times.
While the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will impose surcharges for longer container wait times, Hsieh said the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which represents longshoremen, will demand higher wages next year, which could affect container movements.