Liner giant Evergreen has placed its first ever newbuilding contract in China in a downsized deal for four vessels.

The Taiwanese company has officially commissioned state-owned Jiangnan Shipyard to construct the 2,500-teu vessels for delivery in 2021. The contract does not include any option.

Shipping players familiar with Evergreen says the company has previously only ordered vessels at shipyards in Japan and Taiwan and it also does not charter many Chinese-built containerships.