Oman Shipping Company is planning to invest around USD 20 million in two second-hand containerships, the company’s CEO Tarik Mohammed Al Junaidi is cited as saying by the Times of Oman.
As reported, the two ships, featuring a capacity of around TEU 3,000 each, would replace the currently chartered-in ships.
The investment is said to be timely as second-hand tonnage can be purchased at very low prices. What is more, there has been a pickup in the container business activity in the region.
“Recently, mainline operators, such as CMA CGM and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) are sending their containers from Sohar to Duqm,” Al Junaidi said in a comment on improving times for the container business.
Oman has seen the number of vessels berthing in the country jump by 75 pct during the same week as the diplomatic fallout between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors.
Specifically, prior to the dispute, the highest number of recorded vessel arrivals per week from March to May amounted to 8 vessels, which increased to 14 ships per week after the start of the crisis in June this year, CargoSmart’s data shows.
One of the possible reasons for the increase is the launch of new services from Qatar’s port in Hamad to Oman’s port in Sohar, as announced by Qatar’s port authority.
In addition, Maersk Line announcing that it would use feeder vessels between Qatar and Oman to avoid trading restrictions by Arab countries is believed to have helped the number boost.
Oman Shipping Company’s two current containerships are employed on the routes between Sohar and Salalah in Oman and Jebel Ali, UAE.
OSC’s 50-strong fleet is a mix of very large crude carriers, product tankers, LNG carriers, chemical carriers, LPG tankers, very large ore carriers, dry bulkers, containers and general cargo vessels.
World Maritime News Staff