New carrier CStar Line operating fleet of 18 chartered vessels

CStar Line appeared in the market around two weeks back offering a raft of services focusing on linking Asia, Indian sub-continent, and the Middle East with the Russian ports of Vostochniy, Kaliningrad and St Petersburg.

Whether these services were being directly offered by CStar Line was unclear, however, analyst Alphaliner has now confirmed the company has chartered 18 vessels from Chinese, Hong Kong, Greek, Turkish and UAE owners. The analyst noted that some of the vessels were reported chartered to Mountain Air Shipping, which is based in the same office building in Dubai as CStar Line.

“With a fleet of 18 vessels, all chartered in the recent past, and possibly also, some second-hand acquisitions, CStar is however maybe the most eye-catching example of such a single-purpose carrier,” Alphaliner commented in its weekly newsletter.

Heading up CStar Line is CEO Zsolt Katona, a former long-time Maersk executive whose last post was Area Managing Director Eastern European Area based in St. Petersburg from 2018 to 2022, according to his Linkedin profile. As with many other major lines Maersk pulled out of Russia following its invasion of the Ukraine leaving a gap for new players serving markets not impacted by sanctions.

It is unclear who is backing the Dubai-headquartered company.

CStar Line held its first public event two weeks ago celebrating the launch of its website and the company has also launched a digital strategy.

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