Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) is said to be boosting its orderbook with more neo-panamax container ships, even though the sector is softening and the global fleet is poised to grow by about 8% per year.

Shipbuilding sources said the cash-rich liner giant has struck a deal with Yangzijiang Shipbuilding for a dozen 16,000-teu, LNG dual-fuel newbuildings.

The contract — believed to be MSC’s fifth newbuilding deal in 2022 — is said to be worth $2.16bn.