Tuesday, June 28, 2011

New Container Shipping Line Order Make A Bumper Week For Freight Shipbuilders

Maersk Confirmation Reinforces Optimism for Box Market
Shipping News Feature

DENMARK – SOUTH KOREA – WORLDWIDE – Following on from previous stories it seems this is the season for announcing fleet expansion for the container shipping sector as Maersk confirm the order for a further ten ‘Triple E’ 18,000 TEU freight vessels for delivery as scheduled between 2014 and 2015. Details of the preliminary thirty vessel order, the largest ever for ship builders Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), was given in our February article and Maersk have a deadline of December to confirm their option for the final ten vessels.

The increased capacity means Triple-E type vessels are intended to produce 20 percent less CO2 per container moved compared to Emma Maersk and 50 percent less than the industry average on the Asia-Europe trade lane. In addition, they will consume approximately 35 percent less fuel per container than the 13,100 TEU vessels being delivered to other container shipping lines in the next few years, also for Asia-Europe service. Figures are Maersk’s own and presumably based on full capacity.

Speaking at a ceremony in Korea whilst confirming the second tranche of the order Eivind Kolding, CEO of Maersk Line said:

“I am very excited to have signed a contract with Daewoo for 10 more Triple-E ships. We now have twenty Triple-E on order. They underline our strong commitment to the Asia-Europe trade and fit well with our current ambitions and expectations for the future development of the trade. We believe the Triple-E ships with their record capacity and energy efficiency will enable us to deliver on the commercial and environmental expectations of our customers and also give us a significant competitive advantage in the market.”

Currently, despite the fact Maersk are broadly sticking to their growth forecasts for the Asian logistics markets of up to 8% over the next four years, opinions are that they will not confirm the final ten vessels in the series as, coupled with the enormous capacity of the new ships available (each Triple E will be the largest vessel of any type currently in service at 400 metres long carrying 16% more boxes than current largest container ship Emma Maersk) plus the recent charter of the 13,100 TEU Panama Canal capable vessels from Rickmers, the enormous buying power of the A.P. Moller-Maersk group enables them to choose the best deal available.

DSME will be disappointed if there is no order confirmation for the final ten ships in the series but can console themselves with the knowledge they have signed the orders with Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) as reported on the 16th June to upscale ten ships being constructed to 9,200 TEU and add two similar box vessels to that order.

Photo: Eivind Kolding believes growth will continue in the Asian – European sector.