According to the Wall Street Journal, Maersk Line – the world’s biggest container-shipping company by capacity- is reported to be in discussions with Asian shipbuilders over an order for up to 10 container mega-ships worth a total of around US$1.5 billion. The vessels will have a capacity of around 20,000 TEU each. If the reports are accurate, Maersk would regain its title of owning the world’s biggest ULCVs (Ultra Large Container Vessel).
Though Maersk would not comment on the report, CEO Soren Skou said in November that the Danish carrier was looking to place new orders of large ships during the first half of 2015.
Maersk, the world’s largest and most profitable container ship line, has continually ordered larger, more fuel-efficient vessels. The company has ordered 20 Triple E ships with 18,000-TEU capacities. Fifteen have been delivered, and the other five are under construction in South Korea.
Carriers’ vessel-sharing alliances also influence shipbuilding orders. Maersk Line formed the 2M alliance with Mediterranean Shipping last year. In September CMA CGM, China Shipping and United Arab Shipping Co. formed Ocean Three. their fleets will include 11 ships with capacities of at least 18,000 TEUs. The third-largest alliance, CKYHE that includes Evergreen Cosco, “K” Line, Yang Ming and Hanjin, plans to charter eleven 18,000-TEU ships.
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