Wallenius Wilhelmsen will reactivate up to nine of its sixteen vessels that are currently in cold lay-up. Reactivation will take place during the first quarter of 2021 and the reactivated vessels will replace capacity currently sourced through short term charters.

At the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Wallenius Wilhelmsen took immediate action to meet the challenging market conditions by cancelling dividends, as well as recycling and laying up vessels to preserve cash and reduce costs.

‘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,’ explains CEO Craig Jasienski Wallenius Wilhelmsen.

The Ro-Ro carrier sent sixteen vessels into cold layup. The majority of those vessels were anchored in Norwegian fjords where they were looked after by the local communities. It was the first time in twelve years that Wallenius Wilhelmsen was forced to stack vessels, the company said at the time.

Increasing charter rates

While the company maintains its cautious volume outlook, scarcity of capacity and increasing rates in the time charter market make reactivation of vessels in layup a more cost-competitive option, the carrier now states.

In addition to the reactivation of vessels, the company is also welcoming new tonnage. In Q4 2020, Wallenius Wilhelmsen introduced M/V Tannhauser to its fleet. This is the third vessel in the Hero series, designed to provide operational and environmental efficiencies. The fourth and final Hero vessel is under construction and is scheduled for delivery in Q2 2021.

This article first appeared on Project Cargo Journal, which is another publication of SWZ|Maritime’s publishing partner Promedia.