ICELAND - EUROPE – Samskip, which operates a large multimodal logistics and feeder vessel system linking over thirty countries with over 13,000 shipping containers has acquired the 909 TEU ships Arnarfell and Helgafell, both of which have been employed by the company on the route between Iceland and Europe since early 2005. Samskip has been chartering the vessels since they were delivered as newbuilds seven years ago.
The two 909 TEU sister vessels were built by J J Sietas in Hamburg and each vessel has a deadweight of 11,143 tonnes. They measure 138m in length, 21m in beam and have a maximum service speed of 18.4 knots. They maintain a weekly schedule between Iceland and Europe, departing from Reykjavík on a Thursday night with a stop-over in the Westman Islands on the way to Immingham. From there they call Rotterdam, Cuxhaven, Varberg, Aarhus, and the Faroese Islands, returning to Reykjavík on a Wednesday morning.
Samskip believe that terms for the purchase of container vessels are currently favourable given the state of the world market. In 2011, Samskip also invested in two new 800 TEU container vessels, also specifically designed for the company, in this case by the Dutch shipbuilder Damen. They serve on routes between the Netherlands and the UK and Ireland. That purchase was Samskip’s first investment in container vessels for some time. Ásbjörn Gíslason, CEO of Samskip hf in Iceland commented:
“When an interesting opportunity to buy presented itself, we were on board. This investment we feel is a good one especially since the ships were specifically designed for our needs. We also managed to secure favourable financing, a recognition of the company’s good and strong position and a reflection of the trust we enjoy. The financing was arranged by German banks.”
Samskip move containers door-to-door between over 30 countries from Russia, Scandinavia, and Iceland in the north to Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria, Greece, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia in the south and centre of Europe utilising road, rail, sea and inland waterways as appropriate using its own equipments ranging from 20ft to 45ft pallet-wide high cube containers including reefers, curtain-siders and flat-racks.
Photo: The Arnarfell under way.