BSM takes on auctioned boxships

German company to manage kielmaxes acquired in December by parent Schulte Group.

BSM is to manage four containerships acquired at auction by an investor group represented by its parent Schulte Group.

The first of the ice-class feeder quartet, the 1,636-teu Eilbek (built 2005), has already joined the fleet.

The three sisterships, Barmbek, Reinbek and Flottbek, will follow in April.

The Eilbek-class vessels are the first ships constructed and adapted for operation in ice class conditions to be managed by BSM Germany.

Jan Warmke, managing director of BSM Germany, said: “Management of these four ships marks another important milestone in BSM’s continuing expansion into more specialist market segments, following entry into service of the highly sophisticated wind energy service operation vessel, Windea La Cour, last June and the recent delivery of her sister vessel, Windea Leibniz.

The vessels have been re-flagged from Liberia to Cyprus and will maintain their current time charter employments with Unifeeder.

Schulte is understood to have paid about $39m en-bloc for the 11-year-old kielmax boxships in December.

They were initially reported sold to Dutch operation JR Shipping for just $30m enbloc. However, Schulte is understood to have paid a firmer price, possibly reflecting their unique design.

The 1,600-teu vessels carry just 1,100 teu loaded at 14 tons, and are among some of the largest containerships capable of transiting the Kiel Canal.

They were sold after their former KG (limited partnership) owning companies were declared insolvent.