France’s CMA CGM has joined a growing number of containership operators investing in tonnage by directly ordering newbuildings with shipyards.

China State Shipbuilding Corp (CSSC) disclosed that the liner giant has contracted three state-owned shipyards to build 22 containerships.

The orders involve 12 dual-fuel neo-panamax boxships and 10 panamax vessels.

"This order aims at accommodating market growth," the Marseilles-based liner giant said.

None of the 22 ships are optional vessels, a shipbuilding market source said.