Orient Overseas Container Lines announced today the christening of two 13,208-TEU container ships, the M/V OOCL Brussels and the M/V NYK Helios, at a ceremony at Geoje Island Shipyard in South Korea. These ships are now the two largest with OOCL’s worldwide fleet and the largest ever built for OOCL by Samsung Heavy Industries.
These are the first two ships of a 10-ship newbuild order for the Hong Kong-based shipping company.
“I am very pleased to acknowledge our partnership with Samsung Heavy Industries as they play an instrumental role in strengthening OOCL’s fleet,” Mr. Tung said. “OOCL is committed to exceeding international standards and these new vessels are built and equipped with the latest state-of-the-art technologies with advanced green features to meet current and future environmental requirements.”
The sophisticated hull form design, for instance, optimizes the ship’s performance to minimize fuel consumption, and with less fuel being used, this helps emissions control with less impact to global warming.
In March, OOCL’s competitor Maersk Line will be unveiling their Triple-E class 18k TEU container ship which will somewhat dwarf these two ships christened today.
What is somewhat unclear however, is how the added shipping capacity entering the market over the next few years will be balanced by the slow growth of China and the eurozone financial crisis.
These shipping companies have spoken quite a bit about the environmental benefits associated with using economics of scale, however with a global container industry that is barely covering their own costs, it’s about survival and moving containers around the world as cheaply as possible.