Its holding group, SITC International, said in a Hong Kong Stock Exchange filing that the order comprises eight firm vessels that are slated for delivery within 2023. SITC Shipowning has options for two more ships; these must be exercised by June 18.
Each newbuilding is priced at US$19.2 million, translating into a total contract value of up to $192 million.
Citing healthy demand for container shipping, SITC said the newbuildings will expand its owned fleet which now stands at 73 ships. The shipping line has a major fleet expansion programme underway, with 20 ships ranging from 1,800 TEU to 2,700 TEU on order at Yangzijiang Shipbuilding. These vessels will be delivered from later in 2021 to 2023.
The unprecedented spike in freight rates has encouraged liner operators and tonnage providers to order newbuildings, pushing the global orderbook to almost 20 per cent of the active fleet.
SITC Container Lines is now the 16th largest liner operator, with 142,875 TEU of total capacity, including 23 chartered vessels.
The ship construction contract was signed via video links, due to Covid-19-related travel restrictions.
SITC is a repeat customer of Dae Sun, which had previously won orders from the group in 1996, 2010 and 2017.
Dae Sun, which claims to have a market share of more than 25 per cent for building feeder ships, said it is spearheading eco-friendly ship design and construction technology. The shipbuilder completed a restructuring programme after being acquired on April 16, by Dongil Steel.
Dae Sun president Lee Soo-geun said that the ship builder worked with local universities to develop technologies to maximise the number of containers that can be loaded on feeder vessels. He said: 'This order is the result of industry-academia co-operation. We will target the global market through collaboration with major shipping companies.'