Grimaldi close to $300 million order for five auto carriers

Grimaldi close to $300 million order for five auto carriers

Grimaldi Group is close to sealing a $300 million order for five large car carriers that will operate on the North Atlantic trade lane.

The Italian company has shortlisted Chinese shipyards for the contract and the order will be finalized in March, managing director Emanuele Grimaldi told The Wall Street Journal.

“The ships will carry 7,000 cars each on 13 decks and will move Fiat and Chrysler-made cars from Europe to the U.S. and the other way round,” he said.

“Now, after some very bad years of the economy in the southern part of Europe, there will definitely be a pickup in car sales,” which will benefit shipping lines.

Naples-based Grimaldi owns Atlantic Container Line, which is scheduled to take delivery in May of the first of the world’s five largest roll-on/roll off container ships.

The new ships will have a container capacity of 3,800 TEUs, 105 percent more than the five 30-year old vessels they are replacing and 764 ro-ro slots, an increase of 45 percent. The Chinese-built ships will also have capacity for 1,307 cars, 31 percent more than the retiring vessels.

ACL, which currently operates on the North Atlantic, is expected to add a new direct service between a South Atlantic port and north Europe to attract extra cargo to fill the larger ships.

Contact Bruce Barnard at brucebarnard47@hotmail.com.