Maersk, Danish shipping Line has introduced new ships with a flexible operational design profile.
Maersk Line has inked a contract with Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) to construct nine vessels with a 14,000 TEU capacity in July. These ships will be 353 meters long and are characterized by flexible operational profile. These vessels will join Maersk Line’s fleet in 2017 and sail under Singaporean flag. They are also anticipating the demand for additional eight ships. The value of the contract for these vessels is USD 1.1 billion. Mr. Sam H. Ka, Chief Operation Officer of HHI and Søren Toft, Chief Operating Officer representing Maersk Line, signed the agreement.
Maersk line is coming up with these vessels in a new approach. This method takes the Maersk lines away from the conventional hull designs with a certain speed and draft. They will help the Maersk line to remain competitive, more flexible and efficient. These vessels are planned to be deployed on East-West or North-South trades, which need vessels of varying capacity. By this arrangement, the Maersk Line would strengthen its fleet with vessels without impacting on fuel consumption.
Graham Slack, Maersk Group Chief Economist, felt that uncertainty in trade after the financial crisis of 2008 makes it tough for shipping lines. They need to take tough decisions to decide which vessels will sail where, in their globe-crossing vessel networks. There have been a structural shift and shipping lines are not growing at the same pace on traditional East-West routes. This is happening due to:
- Lower demand in US and Europe
- Changes in offshoring and near-shoring of production to get closer to these end markets
- Need of diversification in supply-chain
- China remains the global manufacturing center but has growing competitors like Mexico, Turkey, and others giving rise to new trade pattern
The third new building order comprises of seven 3,600 TEU feeder vessels, eleven 19,630 TEU Triple-E vessels. This proposal is the reflection of Maersk Line’s USD 15 billion investments in new buildings, retrofitting, containers and other equipment. It would help the Maersk Line to acquire the needed capacity, replacing less efficient tonnage and increase its share of owned vessels.
Source: The Maersk Group