In mid September news broke that the French container company CMA CGM was placing an order for nine 22,000 TEU container ships. The order is to be split between two of China’s top shipyards, Waigaoqiao and Hudong-Zhonghua, both in Shanghai. These will be LNG powered vessels and the first is expected to be in service by the end of 2019. The ships will cost $133.33 million each. CMA CGM are currently in third place in the global liner market, although that could change if Cosco succeed in their plans to takeover OOCL.
On 21st September, on the back of this, The second largest container line, Mediterranean Shipping Corporation (MSC) of Switzerland announced that they have placed an order with South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering for eleven ships each of 22,000 TEU. An MSC spokesman said that, a significant number of smaller container ships, those in the 13,000 to 14,000 TEU range will be leaving their fleet in the coming years, so the new ships will replace these rather than increasing the Company’s overall capacity.
Alphaliner said if the orders are finalised, they are due to be delivered from late 2019 onwards, when they will add to the 105 ultra large container ships that will be sailing in the Asia-North Europe trade by that date.
There are currently 76 containerships of 15,000+ TEU worldwide with a total capacity of 1.4 million TEU, representing an increase of 29 per cent compared to 2016, as measured in TEU terms. Deployed solely on the Asia-Europe trades, they account for 36 per cent of capacity on the route, up from 27 per cent a year earlier. The rising proportion of 8,000-12,000 TEU vessels deployed on the transpacific trades is partly due to the displacement of the 15,000 TEU ships from the Far East-Europe route, as well as to new deployment opportunities on the Asia-US east coast owing to passage via the expanded Panama Canal.
The container shipping fleet now holds the capacity of 20,356,656 TEU. Year-to-date, the fleet has grown by 1.8% and the forecasts anticipate that the rate will hit 3.3% for the full year.
When the Maersk ‘E’ class came into service in 2006 it caused astonishment within the industry that one vessel could carry 15,000 TEU. These ships were superceded by the ‘Triple E’ class whch can carry 18,000 TEU and just in the past few months we have seen the capacity records broken by MOL, Maersk and OOCL. Where will it end?
Finally, I would like to wish all our readers a very Happy Christmas and thank you for your support during the past year.