Hong Kong-headquartered SITC International Holdings, the parent company of intra-Asia carrier SITC Container Lines, will sell its five remaining bulk carriers to focus on its core business of container shipping.
SITC is now the world’s 15th largest liner operator, with a shipping capacity of around 148,000 TEU.
A company representative told Container News that two other bulk carriers, SITC Huangshan and SITC Taishan, were sold in November 2021 and February 2022, for US$22 million and US$18.25 million, respectively.
SITC does not operate its bulk carriers directly but charters out the ships to other operators. The bulk carriers comprise four Panamax vessels and one Supramax vessel.
The company’s representative said, “While dry bulk charter rates have been healthy, the charter hire income forms a small part of the group’s revenue and the management wants to concentrate on the main business, which is container shipping.”
Strong market conditions saw SITC’s 2021 net profit soaring more than four-fold to US$1.17 billion.
Furthermore, SITC has 33 boxships, ranging from 1,800 TEU to 2,700 TEU, on order at Yangzijiang and a South Korean ship builder, Dae Sun Shipbuilding & Engineering Co., Ltd. The delivery of the vessels is expected from mid-2022 to end-2024.
SITC’s representative told that these newbuildings will gradually replace older ships and chartered-in vessels, to reduce chartering costs.