The shipping line has decided that nine out of the 16 vehicle carriers it put into a cold lay-up back in early/mid-2020 will re-enter traffic during Q1 2021.
Wallenius Wilhelmsen will use them to replace the vessels it currently short-term charters. Re-starting the ships will take three-to-four weeks.
The laid-up vessels took refuge in Malaysia and Norway. "One crucial factor is that they are not prone to bad weather. In Norway, the fjords where we are laying up vessels are protected by mountains and far from storms, and in Malaysia, we have chosen areas where we know there are unlikely to be typhoons. Bad weather could potentially mean the vessel dragging her anchor or losing mooring lines," the company explained in June 2020 the decision where to locate the ships.
Apart from laying up ships, Wallenius Wilhelmsen also recycled four units out of its 123-strong fleet.
It was the financial crisis year of 2008 when the company had to lay up its vessels the last time. Now it was the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the car market, "Shipping volumes are lower due to factory closures and bottlenecks in the supply chain. Because we are carrying fewer products, we have some vessels that are not required right now, but we want to be able to bring them back into operation when the time is right. We're putting these vessels into cold lay-up - effectively mothballing them in a secure environment until they are needed again," the firm said in mid-2020.
Photo: Wallenius Wilhelmsen