On the heels of CMA CGM’s order for nine record-breaking 22,000 TEU containerships, Mediterranean Shipping Company has confirmed it has placed its own order for eleven new vessels each with a capacity of 22,000 TEU.
Although the newbuilding order has not been officially announced, a spokesperson for MSC has confirmed the order in a statement to gCaptain.
The order was placed at the Daewoo Marine & Engineering shipyard in South Korea. Additional details of the terms of the agreement, including the order value and delivery dates, have not been disclosed.
“A significant number of 13,000-TEU and 14,000-TEU vessels will come off-hire in the coming years and the new order is expected to effectively replace this fleet, rather than substantially increasing MSC’s overall capacity,” the statement said.
The ultra-large container vessel (ULCV) order follows yesterday’s news that French shipping company CMA CGM has signed shipbuilding contracts for nine 22,000 TEU containerships at three state-run CSSC shipyards in China. Delivery of the nine vessels will commence in 2019.
The 22,000 TEU ships will beat out the 21,413 TEU OOCL Hong Kong for the title of world’s biggest containership by carrying capacity.
The two orders shows that ocean carriers may have a reignited interest in ULCVs after a two-year ordering hiatus.
According to industry analyst Alphaliner, there are 59 ULCVs already in service between Asia and North Europe, all of which as part of a multi-carrier shipping alliance, and the number of ships will jump to 105 ships by 2019, not counting the ships now confirmed by CMA CGM and MSC.
But even with more ULCVs on the way, Alphaliner said in August that fears of a capacity glut on the Asia-North Europe trade had been “overplayed”.
ULCVs are typically defined as having a carrying capacity greater than 14,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit, but the newer ships often carry more than 18,000 and up to 22,000.