May 1 - Samskip, which offers services for breakbulk and project cargo on deck or on flat racks, within Europe as well as in Russia and Central Asia, has acquired two containerships, Arnarfell and Helgafell, both of which have been employed by the company

Samskip has been chartering the vessels since they were delivered as newbuilds seven years ago.

The two 909 teu sisterships were built by J J Sietas in Hamburg and each vessel has a deadweight of 11,143 tonnes. They measure 138 m in length, 21 m in beam and have a maximum service speed of 18.4 knots. They maintain a weekly service between Iceland and Europe, with the following rotation: Reykjavík, Immingham (via a stop-over in the Westman Islands), Rotterdam, Cuxhaven, Varberg, Aarhus, and the Faroese Islands, before returning to Reykjavík.

The world market price for containerships is favourable at the moment, says Ásbjörn Gíslason, CEO of Samskip HQ in Iceland: "Consequently, when an interesting opportunity to buy presented itself, we were on board. This investment we feel is a good one especially since the ships were specifically designed for our needs. We also managed to secure favourable financing, a recognition of the company's good and strong position and a reflection of the trust we enjoy. The financing was arranged by German banks."

In 2011, Samskip also invested in two new 800 teu containerships, also specifically designed for the company, in this case by the Dutch shipbuilder Damen. They serve on routes between the Netherlands and the UK and Ireland.

One of the two ships - Arnarfell - is pictured here.