Maersk Line, the world’s largest container shipping company, announced Wednesday the signing of a newbuild contract with South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries for nine containerships with a capacity of 14,000 TEU each.
The contract has a value of USD $1.1 billion and includes an option for up to 8 additional vessels, Maersk said.
Today’s contract marks the third new-building order in Maersk Line’s investment program announced in September 2014, the company’s first new ships since the first 20 record-breaking Triple-E’s were ordered from Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co shipyard in South Korea. Wednesday’s announced order follows the seven 3,600 TEU feeder vessels ordered from COSCO Shipyard in Zhoushan China and eleven 19,630 TEU Triple-E vessels from DSME announced earlier this year as part of Maersk Line’s USD 15 billion investment in new-buildings, 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,” says Søren Toft.
The nine vessels will join Maersk Line’s fleet in 2017 and be Singapore-flagged.
Since 2002, HHI has delivered more than 50 container vessels to Maersk Line, including 22 WAFMAX vessels (4,500 TEU), which were delivered in 2011-13.
“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,” concludes Søren Toft.
As of May 2015, Maersk Line’s fleet consists of 273 owned vessels with a combined 1.7 million TEU capacity and 335 chartered vessels with a combined capacity of 1.2 million TEU. The company’s orderbook now corresponds to 500,000 TEU capacity, with the 7 Baltic Feeder vessels for delivery in 2017; 11 19,000+ TEU vessels for delivery in 2017-2018; 11 9.5K-10K chartered vessels for delivery in 2015-2016; and the 9 14,000 TEU vessels announced Wednesday.