The rapid growth of China’s auto export market has made China’s auto carrier fleet, Chinese shipowners, Chinese shipyards, and Chinese auto exporters the focus of the shipping market. With CIMC Raffles receiving three more orders for 7,000-car-space LNG dual-fuel vehicle carriers, Chinese shipyards have received more than 60 vehicle carrier orders since last year, sweeping the Japanese and South Korean shipbuilding industries and becoming the current round of vehicle carriers. The biggest winner of the wave of orders. CIMC Raffles also ranked fourth in the world with orders for 12 auto carriers, tying up with another Chinese shipyard, Nanjing Jinling Shipyard, which currently ranks first in the world, and became the leader in the field of auto carrier construction. Another “single champion”.
According to trade winds, the orders for the three ships came from two European shipping companies. Construction contracts were signed last month. The total value of the orders was 255 million US dollars (about 1.775 billion yuan), but the transaction has not been reported. Each new ship costs about 85 million US dollars, and the total price is 255 million US dollars. It is planned to be delivered in 2025. One of the new ships is ordered by the Greek shipping company Atlas Maritime, and the other owner is unknown.
According to Clarksons data, Atlas ordered a 7,000-space dual-fuel vehicle carrier at CIMC Raffles in April this year, with delivery scheduled for September 2024. According to the information on Atlas’ official website, the company has increased its order quantity from CIMC Raffles to 2 ships, and the second newly ordered ship is expected to be delivered in April 2025.
The car carrier ordered by Atlas has a total length of 199.90 meters, a width of 38 meters, a design draft of 8.60 meters, a gross tonnage of 69,000 tons, a service speed of 19 knots, and is equipped with two 1,650cbm C-type LNG fuel storage tanks, which meet the NOx Tier III requirements. Equipped with the most energy-efficient engines for the lowest environmental impact, this vessel has a reinforced deck and internal ramp system capable of carrying electric vehicles and heavy lift/engineering cargo.
Atlas noted that the timing of the order for the two new ships is well-timed in a rapidly tightening market, with strong demand drivers and limited capacity supply supporting an extremely optimistic market outlook.
Car carriers are a niche type of ship in many segments of the shipping market, having experienced a decade of low growth and low freight rates. Due to the imbalance of market supply and demand, the surge in demand, and port congestion, it has rebounded from the bottom in August 2020 and has continued to rise. In just two years, the freight rate of car carriers has continued to rise from a low of $10,000 per day in mid-2020. By August this year, the daily rent of a one-year charter of a 6,500-space car carrier had soared to a record high of $80,000. The freight rate increased by 700%.
On the other hand, orders for new ships have been quite limited over the past few years, and demand for new car carriers remains high. Since the beginning of last year, both independent shipowners and operating shipowners around the world have started a new round of new ship investment. The number of new ship orders for car carriers has reached as high as 76, while only 20 new ship orders have been accumulated during 2016-2020. Clarkson‘s data shows that up to now, there are 77 orders for car carriers, and all new ships under construction are powered by LNG dual-fuel.
At the same time, the price of new car carriers has continued to rise. As of September, the price of a 7,000-space car carrier has risen to US$91 million per ship, an increase of 33% from the beginning of 2021.
According to Clarkson‘s data, since last year, Chinese shipbuilding companies have undertaken a total of 61 car carrier orders, far higher than Japanese shipbuilding companies (13 ships) and South Korean shipbuilding companies (2 ships). In terms of shipyards, CIMC Raffles ranks fourth in the world in terms of orders for auto carriers, with a total of 9 vessels. If the latest 3 vessels are added, the number of orders on hand for CIMC Raffles will reach 12 vessels.
According to the latest news from trade winds, Italian shipowner Grimaldi will order 10 9,000-car ammonia fuel-reserved car carriers at China Merchants Group – Jinling Shipyard, worth 1 billion US dollars. More than 70 ships will undoubtedly be the biggest winner of this round of car carrier orders.
Data shows that there are currently about 700 car carriers in the world, which still cannot meet the rapidly growing market demand and the increasingly stringent new environmental protection regulations. Some car shipping companies believe that with the coming into force of new energy efficiency regulations, there is a need to vigorously promote green new buildings to meet demand. Earlier, a market analysis agency said that the global market still needs to build 200 LNG-powered vehicle carriers to meet both emission requirements and growing market demand. In this spring’s forecast report, Clarkson forecast demand for more than 300 new ships over the next decade, and said the forecast model was likely to be revised further in the context of tightening regulations.
Atlas订造的汽车运输船总长199.90米，宽38米，设计吃水8.60米，总吨位69000吨，服务航速19节，配备2个1650立方米C型LNG燃料储罐，满足NOx Tier III规范要求。该型船配备最节能的发动机，实现最少的环境影响，强化甲板和内部坡道系统能够运载电动车以及重吊/工程货物。