Shipowners' investment in car carrier newbuildings has accelerated past $3.2bn this year after Eastern Pacific Shipping and Zodiac Maritime signed huge orders.

TradeWinds reported that Idan Ofer's Eastern Pacific has contracted 12 ships in China worth $1bn, while brother Eyal Ofer's Zodiac put pen to paper on a deal for 14 vessels worth $1.1bn, also in China.

Shipbroker Affinity (Shipping) said between 20 and 30 pure car/truck carrier newbuildings have been contracted in the past few weeks.