Danish container shipping giant Maersk Line has not decided yet whether it would order additional eight 14,000 TEU containerships at Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), Maersk Line Spokesperson told World Maritime News responding to media reports on the exercise of the option.
Namely, Maersk Line signed a USD 1.1 billion new building contract with HHI in July for nine vessels with a capacity of 14,000 TEU each. The agreement includes an option for up to eight additional vessels.
“What I can say is that we have not – at this stage – decided as to whether or not we want the vessels. Should we decide that we want the vessels they will be Tier II compliant,” Maersk Line’s Senior Press Officer, Michael Christian Storgaard said.
The reports on the exercise of the option come in the wake of Maersk’s cutting of expectations for Maersk Line’s business results for 2015 amid depressed market and plummeting freight rates.
The previous expectation was based on an underlying result contribution from Maersk Line above USD 2.2bn. However, this has been reduced to USD 1.6bn.
According to the CEO of Maersk Group, Nils S. Andersen, the container shipping industry needs better freight rates so as to be able to recover.
“In terms of the contract base, of course this is unfortunate, because the low rates coincide with the renegotiation of contracts. I would, however, like to say that this is not the first time we have experienced that, so I wouldn’t overemphasize its importance. It is an irritant, but we will have to overcome it. Of course, the industry needs better rates for 2016,” said Andersen, commenting on the impact of the freight rates on the company’s business results.
World Maritime News Staff