The Kuwait-based United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) announced plans on 29 March to buy up to 10 new container vessels from either European or Asian shipyards. UASC chief executive Abdulla Madi al-Madi said that the vessels will cost an estimated $600 million-700 million and would be used on services between Europe and Asia.

Al-Madi said that UASC had approached leading international shipbuilders and had requested information on possible delivery schedules. The plan is to buy six vessels with an option on another four. The purchases will save the company an estimated $65 million a year on chartering foreign ships, the company says.

UASC at present uses 10 chartered vessels in addition to the 47 container and general cargo vessels it owns.