CIMC Raffles rakes in car carrier orders worth $255m as pressure weighs on tonnage supply

The Chinese shipyard is sitting on an orderbook of 12 LNG dual-fuel PCTCs

CIMC Raffles Offshore Engineering has raked in orders for three 7,000-ceu LNG dual-fuel pure car/truck carrier (PCTC) newbuildings from two European shipping companies.

Shipbuilding sources said the Chinese shipyard signed the contracts last month, but the deal was never reported.

Officials at CIMC Raffles declined to comment on its newbuilding activities, citing contract confidentiality.

Sources said the yard is scheduled to deliver the vessels in 2025. They added that Athens and London-based Atlas Maritime is one of the owners to have ordered the PCTCs. The identity of the other other is not known.

A traditional Greek shipowner that focuses on the tanker sector, Atlas made its debut in the PCTC segment in May when it booked an LNG dual-fuel 7,000-ceu vessel with CIMC Raffles at about $85m.

The deal was reported to include options for multiple vessels. TradeWinds already reported last month that Atlas was said to have exercised one option.

Atlas Maritime’s website shows it has two PCTCs — Hulls No H578 and H579 —booked at CIMC Raffles. It is slated to take delivery in September 2024 and April 2025.

Shipbuilding sources said demand for new PCTC tonnage continues to be strong due to the limited number of newbuildings ordered over the past few years.

The high demand for PCTC newbuildings, accompanied by rising labour and material costs, has resulted in a huge surge in shipbuilding prices, with an LNG dual-fuel 7,000-ceu vessel up by more than 10% since early last year.

The red-hot car carrier market has attracted container ship tonnage provider and Atlas subsidiary Seaspan Corp to make a move into the ship type.

Last month, the Hong Kong and Vancouver-managed company was reported to be in advanced discussions with China’s Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding for three LNG dual-fuel PCTC newbuildings, through an unidentified Chinese partner.

The 8,600-teu trio is set to cost $300m in total.

Seaspan is said to be ordering the vessels on the back of long-term charter contracts from Cosco Shipping Specialized Carriers.

CIMC Raffles, previously known as Yantai Raffles, was renamed when China International Marine Containers acquired it in 2008.

According to Clarksons’ Shipping Intelligence Network, CIMC Raffles is building two 6,600-ceu ships for Wallenius Marine to be delivered next year. It is also constructing six LNG dual-fuel 7,000-ceu vessels for Zodiac Maritime for delivery in 2023 and 2024.

Several analysts forecast a possible shortage of car carrier tonnage after years of underinvestment in the sector and on the back of an increase in global demand for electric vehicles.

According to Clarksons, 77 PCTCs are on order at shipyards in the Far East.

Yantai CIMC Raffles Offshore has inked close to $1bn worth of PCTC newbuildings contracts, including optional vessels with Zodiac Maritime in 2021. Photo: CIMC Raffles

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Mirannia Petrocheilou


Mirannia joined Atlas in July 2014 as Purchasing Manager. Prior to joining the company she held various positions of increasing responsibility giving her the qualifications and skills of leading and executing purchasing strategies She holds an MBA from University of Leicester, UK and she is a graduate of Maritime Studies at the University of Piraeus. She is responsible for sourcing, negotiating and purchasing of goods, materials and services to meet the ship’s and company’s budget and operational requirements. As a purchasing Manager she has to create sustainable supply chains having efficient suppliers with consistent steady business that secures highest quality of products and services. Her professional approach ensures that value for money is maximized and cost savings are generated.

Katerina Chrisovergis


Katerina joined Atlas in July 2014 as Accounting Manager. She was introduced to the shipping industry in 2000 when she moved to Greece from Canada. She held the position of D/A controller for clients like Chevron, Exmar and Tankers Int’l at Gulf Agency Company, a leading global provider of shipping & marine services. When GAC relocated its headquarters to Dubai in 2003, she worked as Chief Accountant for a shipowning company with 6 vessels. For the last five years, she worked for the Bernhard Schulte Group as Chief Accountant at Bernhard Schulte-Hellas, manager of the Hanseatic Tankers Pool with a fleet of 12 chemical tankers and at Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement Greece manager of 40 vessels. She holds a BCom in Accounting from Concordia University in Montreal and has completed post graduate studies in Accountancy at McGill University.

Aris Mavris


Capt. Aris joined Atlas Maritime Ltd in September 2007. He holds a Class B’ Captain license and has obtained a Certificate in Shipping & International Trade and Sea Transport from B.C.A. College (1993) as well as holds an MBA, Master of Shipping, Trade and Transport from the University of Aegean (2002). From 1993 to 1999, he worked for Celebrity Cruises Inc., Miami, Florida. He has held several Marine positions at various shipping companies prior joining Atlas Maritime.

Penelope Kallidoni


Penny joined Atlas in 2009 as ISM/ISO Coordinator. Prior to joining Atlas, she has served as the Operations & Commercial Assistant in a NASDAQ listed shipping company for four years. Experienced in ISO, ISM, and ISPS, MLC & TMSA audits, responsible for Collecting and analyzing HSEQ performance and reporting progress on the implementation of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Monitors safety on a daily basis through past and projected indicators, ensuring that all regulations are being followed in the company. She holds a BSc in Sociology from Panteion University of Athens.

Chris Ioannou


Chris joined Atlas Maritime Ltd in 2020 as Technical Manager. He holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from University of Houston in Texas. Prior to joining the company he has held various senior engineering positions in the technical department of shipping companies. He was also the project & site manager of the owners’ supervision teams for numerous new-building projects in Europe & Asia including high technology, high efficiency, ECO design product & chemical tankers. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers [ASME].

Basil Dimakakos


Capt. Basil joined Atlas Maritime Ltd in December 2012 and on 2016 he assumed the responsibility to run Atlas’ Commercial Operations. He is the company’s primary contact, and reports directly to the CEO, for all matters related to S&P and time charter and spot fixtures, while he also monitors the daily vessels’ movement and expenditures. Prior to joining the Company, he worked in Singapore as the General Manager for a commodities trading company and before that, he worked in senior positions in Ship Management companies, mainly in the tanker and and dry cargo sectors, for 20 years. He is a qualified Captain Class A for all type of commercial vessels of unlimited size. His has sea-going experience of more than 12 years, onboard oil tankers, mainly ULCC, VLCC and Aframaxes. He holds MSc degree for Maritime Operations from John Moores University of Liverpool and MBA from Phoenix (Arizona) University

Christos Zenios


Christos Zenios joined Atlas as the Financial Manager in 2007; he stepped up to the VP-Finance position in 2011 which he held until the end of 2013, when he was entrusted with the CFO role. Since joining Atlas, he has been responsible for modeling and analyzing financial deals for the company, mitigating financial risks, as well as developing and maintaining relationships with Credit and Investment Banks in relation to the capital structure of the company. Additionally, he oversees the Accounting team and works closely with our auditors to ensure the company meets its reporting requirements in a timely and accurate manner. Prior to joining Atlas, he worked for over 5 years in the Banking Sector, where he served as a Senior Credit Officer in the Corporate Banking & Leasing divisions of well established financial institutions in Greece (Piraeus Bank and Bank of Cyprus). He holds an M.Sc. in Finance from the University of Strathclyde (2005), and a BSc degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Wales, Cardiff (1997).

Leon Patitsas​


Leon founded the company in 2004 and is the Chief Executive officer of Atlas Maritime. He has concluded over $ 1 billion in total transactions (acquisitions and sales) throughout his career. With over 20 years of experience in shipping, he has focused on buying assets at attractive entry points/distressed levels. He has a strong track record in profitably employing the assets and has secured time charter contracts (revenues) of over $500 million, with oil companies (oil majors) and traders. 

He subsequently sold the assets profitably, at the peak of the cycle and successfully produced stellar returns. Prior to founding Atlas Maritime, he gained extensive experience in sales and purchase (acquisitions), chartering, and ship financing, working for renowned Ship-owners in New York, London and Athens.

Leon began his career in New York, working for an investment bank that invested in Hedge Funds and Private Equity. Having extensive knowledge in the capital markets has enabled Atlas to successfully conclude JV’s with major Private Equity firms, in NY and London. Leon is on the board of directors of Concord Maritime, a Commercial Manager, based in Stamford, CT, operating crude tanker pools. He also serves on the Board of directors of the American Club (P&I Club) and is a Council member of the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO). 

Leon was born in London and studied in the United States. He graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a Master’s of Science and earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts University.