Despite a litany of challenges facing the maritime sector throughout 2023, the industry’s biggest players have continued to make a number of significant investments with a focus on trends such as supply chain resilience and the green transition.

As the year comes to a close, Ship Technology has taken a look back at some of the biggest deals of the year, from vessel orders and port investments to notable mergers.

Maersk and Starlink sign fleet agreement – October

Though Maersk is not the only shipping company to install Space X’s Starlink technology on its ships, it is perhaps one of the biggest with all 330 of its vessels set to benefit from the high-speed internet solutions.

Wartsila and Corsica Linea sign 10-year agreement – May

Wartsila‘s ten-year Guaranteed Asset Performance agreement with Corsica Linea marks a significant sign of confidence from the French ferry operator with the contract covering its new LNG-fuelled RoPax ferry known as A Galeotta.

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By GlobalData

KSOE wins $2bn order for 12 methanol-fuelled box ships -February

One of many shipbuilding orders agreed in 2023, KSOE’s $2bn contract with an undisclosed European shipping firm for the construction of 12 very large container ships will be carried out by its subsidiary Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries.

Danish pension fund invests $1bn in Port of Esbjerg’s green transition- July

PensionDanmark’s significant investment into the Port of Esbjerg will see a large focus on the expansion of the offshore wind infrastructure at the Danish port, with the majority of the investment (DKr5.8bn, $850m) expected to go towards the construction of offshore wind turbine production facilities by 2027.

Shipping company MSC to acquire 100% of Italian cargo airline -August

Connecting the aviation and maritime industries, MSC’s purchase of Italy’s AlisCargo Airlines showcased the growing interconnectivity of supply chains across different forms of transport as MSC seeks to expand its air cargo division with the acquisition, and the addition of two new cargo planes.

Signal: Australia second-largest recipient of Chinese port investment – November

Though a source of tension in Australia, China’s US$8.1bn investment into three port projects up to September was the second biggest foreign investment by the Asian country, behind only the $10.2bn put into Tanzania.

However, Australia is especially notable as being the only country in the top ten to not be part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a global infrastructure development strategy and the centrepiece of the country’s foreign policy.

DP World to operate key parts of Tanzania’s Dar es Salaam Port -October

Another huge port investment by a foreign entity, the UAE’s DP World signed a 30-year deal with the Tanzania Ports Authority to take over the operation and modernisation of four berths at the Dar es Salaam Port, including a commitment to invest more than $250m to upgrade the port.

Star Bulk and Eagle Bulk to merge operations – December

Star Bulk’s acquisition of Eagle Bulk will create the largest dry bulk shipping company listed in the US and bring the former company’s fleet up to 169 vessels across Newcastlemax/Capesize and Supramax/Ultramax types, with the company expecting the transaction to generate at least $50m in “annual cost and revenue synergies”.

Maritime Partners extends portfolio with Navy-linked acquisition – September

The US-based financing provider completed its acquisition of US Marine Management (USMMI) a tanker and military support craft chartering corporation. The acquisition will add approximately 2,000 managed vessels to Maritime Partners’ fleet.

Peel Ports closes purchase of UK’s HES Humber Bulk Terminal – March

The Peel Ports Group concluded a deal to buy the HES Humber Bulk Terminal, allowing the group to extend its reach to the East Coast of the UK. Through the new terminal, Peel Group will supervise activities at eight key locations in the UK and Ireland.