Maersk Line, the world’s largest container shipping company, has signed a USD 1.1 billion contract with South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) for the construction of nine container ships with a capacity of 14,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent) each.
The nine vessels will join Maersk Line’s fleet in 2017 and sail under Singaporean flag. This is the third newbuilding order in Maersk Line’s investment programme announced in September 2014.
The now officially confirmed newbuilding contract was announced by World Maritime News back in June.
The order follows the seven 3,600 TEU feeder vessels and eleven 19,630 TEU Triple-E vessels announced earlier this year as part of Maersk Line’s USD 15 billion investment in newbuildings, retrofitting, containers and other equipment.
”I am very pleased about this order for which we have taken a new approach. The vessels will be designed to operate in and perform efficiently across many trades and not just designed for one specific trade. They will help us stay competitive and make our fleet more flexible and efficient,” said Søren Toft, COO of Maersk Line.
Designing vessels with a flexible operational profile is a first for Maersk Line. By moving away from hulls designed with a certain speed and draft in mind, Maersk Line says it is strengthening its fleet with vessels which can be deployed on East-West or North-South trades where requirements differ, with no impact on fuel consumption.
Since 2002, HHI has delivered more than 50 container vessels to Maersk Line, including 22 WAFMAX vessels (4,500 TEU), which were delivered from 2011 to 2013.
”We have a long and good relationship with HHI. The quality of the vessels has always been up to high standards and we look forward to receiving this new batch,” said Søren Toft.