Wilh Wilhelmsen and Wallenius Lines ordered two new car/truck carriers, signaling a recovery from the deep slump in the ocean car transport market that forced the two companies to lay up and scrap vessels.
The Scandinavian carriers, which are partners in WWL Logistics, didn't say how much they are paying for the ships which will be built by Japan's Mitsubishi shipyard.
The first of the 6,500 vehicle capacity vessels will be delivered to Oslo-based Wilh Wilhelmsen in 2012.
By The Numbers: U.S. Motor Vehicle Trade.
The ships are sister vessels of 10 pure car/truck carriers built by Mitsubishi for the two carriers in 2004-2009.
"As market leader within the rolling cargo segment, it is important for us to position ourselves for future growth," said Jan Eyvin Wang, President and CEO of Wilh Wilhelmsen.
"Volumes continue to pick up, albeit from a low level. The newbuildings will secure a high level of service to our customers going forward," Wang said.
Oslo-listed Wilh Wilhelmsen also has two roll-on, roll-off ships on order at Mitsubishi to be delivered in 2011 and 2012.
Wilh Wilhelmsen used part of the $220 million proceeds from an initial public offering in the summer for its ship purchases.
"The recently conducted global offering has given us the strength to act on interesting opportunities to grow further,” Wang said.
"We will continue to pursue growth opportunities through tonnage renewal and invest in land-based logistics activities," he said.
Wilh Wilhelmsen and Stockholm-based Wallenius Lines control a fleet of 125 car carriers and ro-ro ships and have a further 20 vessels on order.
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