French shipping firm CMA CGM and CSSC Group have officially signed the contract for the construction of nine 22,000 TEU ships, the largest container vessels ordered so far.
With the contract, signed on September 19 in Marseille, the company confirmed that the Chinese shipyards Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding and Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding (SWS) will be building the container ships.
Earlier reports suggested that, under a letter of intent (LOI) signed with the shipyards, CSSC Hudong-Zhonghua would be in charge of constructing five ships from the batch, while Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding would be entrusted with building the remaining four units.
CMA CGM unveiled the order earlier in September as part of its second quarter financial report, saying that the contract was placed “in order to keep pace with market growth and the group’s needs.”
“This order, of which the first ships will come into service from the end of 2019, will further reduce unit transport costs, particularly on the Asia-Europe routes,” the company informed.
The contract is estimated to be worth USD 1.2 billion.