The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic saw a significant reduction in demand for cargo-carrying capacity across the globe. In response, Oslo-headquartered Wallenius Wilhelmsen made the decision to recycle four of its 123 vessels fleet and put others into cold lay-up, essentially taking them out of service as it weathered the storm.
While the pandemic is “still very much part of our reality,” says the company, reduced capacity and rising rates in the charter market have led to the decision to bring up to nine of its laid-up vessels back into service. Plans are in place to reactivate these vessels during the first quarter of the year to replace capacity currently sourced through short-term charters.
“Flexibility in the fleet has been a core strategic choice since the inception of Wallenius Wilhelmsen, ensuring our ability to adjust the fleet to our needs and shifting market demand,” said Craig Jasienski, CEO of Wallenius Wilhelmsen.
To further support flexibility in its fleet, later this year the company will also be welcoming its fourth HERO vessel, the last newbuilding in its HERO series of post-panamax RO/RO vessels, each with an 8,000 car-equivalent unit capacity.