Hapag-Lloyd held a naming ceremony for the “Hamburg Express”, the first of ten new vessels in its new 13,200 TEU class, today.
Cornelia Behrendt, wife of Michael Behrendt, Chairman of the Executive Board of Hapag-Lloyd, performed the ceremony for what is now the largest ship in the Hapag-Lloyd fleet. The naming ceremony took place at the Container Terminal Altenwerder (CTA) in Hamburg, where the new ship will call regularly in future. The first vessel in the new “Hamburg Express” class will sail Loop 4 of the G6 Alliance, replacing a ship with approximately 8,000 TEU on this service. Loop 4 starts in Hamburg and calls at the ports of Rotterdam, Singapore, Yantian, Ningbo and Shanghai before returning via Yantian, Singapore and Southampton.
“The fact that the newest and largest ship in the Hapag-Lloyd fleet carries the name of our home port out into the world is part of a long tradition. It is a sign of the strong bond which links us to Hamburg,” said Michael Behrendt. “The entry into a new class is something we have thought long and hard about. With the modern, extremely efficient newbuilds in the ‘Hamburg Express’ class, we are not only ensuring that Hapag-Lloyd stays competitive in future, but we are also pursuing our strategy of sustainable growth in line with the market.”
The US-based research institute IHS Global Insight predicts growth in global container volumes of 5% to 6% a year through 2016. This means that, between 2011 and 2016, transport volumes will rise by 36 million standard containers (TEU) to 158 million TEU in 2016, according to IHS Global Insight. Transport volume is set to go up by 4% even in the current year despite the economic uncertainty in Europe and restated assessments of economic growth worldwide. In contrast to this sharp increase in demand, the supply side, or the global order book for new container ships, is now at an historical low. The last time there were so few orders in relation to the world’s sailing fleets was ten years ago.
“Hapag-Lloyd is in an outstanding position among its international competitors to benefit from future market growth,” said Michael Behrendt. “In liner shipping, Hapag-Lloyd is one of the clear leaders when it comes to innovation and costs. We take an active part in shaping our industry, our ships are state-of-the-art, our crews on board and our staff on shore are well qualified and highly motivated. Our customer focus and our IT systems are peerless.”
All ten newbuilds will sail under the German flag which forms part of a long tradition at the Group. The latest newbuilds, which are under construction at the Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea, are 366 metres long and 48 metres wide and have a maximum capacity of 142,092 tonnes with a draft of 15.5 metres. From keel to superstructure they measure a good 66 metres.
The next two vessels from the series ordered in December 2010 will be delivered to Hapag-Lloyd in late September and mid-November, respectively, and will also be deployed in Loop 4. The remaining seven ships are due for delivery next year. A shipping company needs at least ten ships to operate a loop between Europe and Asia. With the addition of the newbuilds, Hapag-Lloyd can return more expensive charter ships and thus adjust its fleet capacities flexibly in line with market demand. Including the new “Hamburg Express”, the Hapag-Lloyd fleet currently consists of 147 vessels with a total capacity of around 674,000 TEU.
Like their predecessors, the ten units in the “Hamburg Express” class will set the highest environmental standards and achieve particularly low figures for fuel consumption and emissions thanks to innovative on-board technology. Numerous Hapag-Lloyd ships are already up to 30% better than the average in the active world fleet. The main innovation in terms of environmental protection on board the “Hamburg Express” and its sister ships is the equipment for ballast water treatment manufactured by the Hamburg-based firm Mahle Industriefilter. The system cleans ships’ ballast water without chemicals before it enters and before it leaves the ballast water tanks and uses filtration and UV light treatment to prevent organisms in the tanks from escaping unintentionally into foreign ecosystems.
Source: Hapag-Lloyd, August 17, 2012