A little over a year after Abu Dhabi Ports revealed its strategy to facilitate growing trade demands within the Gulf region by establishing the UAE-based container feeder services company, Safeen Feeders, a joint venture with Bengal Tiger Line (BTL), more details have emerged of its fleet build-up.
Abu Dhabi Ports has added its first two ships as owner. Its most recent purchase is the 996 teu Safeen Pearl, formerly called the Vega Virgo, a 10-year-old ship sold by Arend Brügge’s Vega-Reederei. The sale appears to be sealed privately as no price is attached to the deal but VesselsValue indicates that the ship is worth around $23m.
Sources have also tracked down the Middle Eastern firm’s first purchase, the 2,500 teu Safeen Prime, formerly called Banak, sold by Torvald Klaveness for some $30m, an outfit that is reported selling all of its four containerships, three of which are sisters of Safeen Prime.
Safeen Feeders was set up to respond to demand for feeder services within the Persian Gulf and Indian sub-continent and is considering adding routes to cover east Africa and the Red Sea areas. The company has been operating with a UAE-Indian Sub-Continent service with three 1,700 teu ships and a UAE-Oman service with a 1,000 teu ship. The vessels were from Bengal Tiger Line, which operates only chartered ships.
Rival port operator DP World in Dubai has a very extensive feeder footprint having bought Unifeeder and other liner operators in recent years.