PCTC/ro-ro operator Wallenius Wilhelmsen has added to its backlog of newbuildings, this week signing contracts for the recently declared options for four 9,300 CEU ‘Shaper’ class vessels at China Merchants Jinling Shipyard.

The company, which last week declared record results, has taken options for four more of the class, which will be capable of operating on green methanol or ammonia.

WW said the new optional vessels have earlier delivery slots compared to the options already held, providing further flexibility in delivery timing.

“Consequently, Wallenius Wilhelmsen now has firm contracts for eight new vessels with delivery from mid-2026 onwards, and eight optional vessels. The company has not made any decision regarding whether to declare any additional optional vessels, and the four new options do not necessarily represent an increased ambition for the current newbuilding programme,” it said.

Meanwhile, WW’s 7934 CEU Carmen remains trapped at Baltimore’s Dundalk Marine Terminal following the blocking of the port by the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge, struck by the Maersk-operated containership Dali two days ago. Carmen was due to have departed 26 March for ANZ but will be stuck indefinitely, until wreckage can be removed.

Separately, in a rare transaction between rivals, earlier this month WW partner Wallenius Lines bought a 2007-built vessel from rival Höegh Autoliners. The company reportedly paid US$61 million for the 6000 TEU Höegh Chiba and is renaming it Auto Way, the name suggesting it is destined for the Wallenius/NYK European short sea company United European Car Carrier.