THE FIRST of four new 9350-CEU (car-equivalent unit) vessels are expected to be delivered to Wallenius Wilhelmsen in the second half of 2026.

The ro-ro specialist signed a letter of intent for the new vessels with Jinling Shipyard (Jiangsu). The vessels will be dual-fuel, able to run on methanol.

The new vessel class will be called “the Shaper Class”.

Wallenius Wilhelmsen executive vice-president and chief operating officer shipping services Xavier Leroi said: “I know it is expected from us, and that in order to keep our fleet size, we need to continue ordering vessels. However, with no clear direction on future fuel, this has not been an easy task. We needed time to assess what was the best option for us”.

Wallenius Wilhelmsen CEO Lasse Kristoffersen said there is an urgent need for our industry to transform over the next couple of years.

“As a company, we are determined to shape this industry and lead the way to capitalise effectively on changing circumstances, as we grow with customers and partners sharing our journey,” he said.

Wallenius Wilhelmsen senior manager – newbuildings and conversions Lars Ekren said the process of developing the new design started more than one and a half years ago.

“The newbuildings team have been working in close collaboration with the designer (Delta Marin) and internal and external stakeholders during this period, to ensure the vessel design meets of safety requirements and is well suitable for our future short term & long-term operational needs,” he said.

“Energy efficiency and reducing GHG emissions is a top priority, and a lot of effort has put into ensuring the new vessels will significantly contribute to meeting our emission reduction targets.”