The container transport market is so heated that on Tuesday (8), a Swedish shipowner specializing in tankers officially announced that it is evaluating the possibility of converting its vessels into container carriers.
In an official statement, Sweden's Concordia Maritime said it had launched a study to analyze technical feasibility so that tankers in its fleet can begin transporting containers properly.
During the current crisis, several companies transported containers in general cargo ship holds (and Bureau Veritas even released a guide on the subject).
But in these cases, it was an emergency "improvisation"; now, Concordia Maritime is talking about taking a ship that was built for one purpose and effectively converting it to another.
"In recent years, the container segment has shown a great development, partly because of the problems that have occurred in international logistics, but also because of more structural factors," the company said in the statement.
The study will be developed in partnership with two other companies and takes into account P-MAX type vessels – a type of tanker whose capacity would be in a middle ground between wr and panamax standards, according to the seatrade maritime news website.
The first analyses show that, considering the space of the engines, the P-MAX vessels would have a capacity of about 2,100 TEUs after conversion. Concordia Maritime expects to complete the study at the end of the second quarter; if the result is positive, it will initiate contacts with shipyards and maritime agencies to verify interested in exploiting the potential of the operation.
It is estimated that the conversion of each ship takes between three and five months. The Swedish company currently has nine P-MAX vessels.
And what's the point of an effort of this size? While container carriers sail in cash, tankers are in bad shape, with demand having been negatively affected during the pandemic. In January, Concordia Maritime itself sold one of its P-MAX for the purpose of amortizing some of its doubts, according to the Offshore Energy website.