World’s Largest Box Ship Launched Amid COVID-19 Pandemic! First Voyage To Be Its Last?


South Korean shipping line HMM formally launched the world’s largest containership 24,000 teu HMM Algeciras at the DSME shipyard in Okpo, reports Gavin van Marle for The LoadStar.

Boxship launch

A naming ceremony was held Thursday for the 24,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) HMM Algeciras. 

President Moon Jae-in who attended the launch ceremony said, “It is very meaningful that HMM takes delivery of the most technologically advanced containership in this difficult time. I would like to celebrate it and hope that HMM continues to secure a competitive advantage as a Korean national flagship carrier.”

The South Korean government announced a fresh injection of cash that came along with HMM’s launch of the world’s largest containership HMM Algeciras. 

Maritime financial package

The South Korean government has outlined an enormous financial package to prop up its maritime industries.

The ministry for oceans and fisheries has set aside SKw1.25trn (US$1bn) to help shipping lines, shipyards and other maritime players, says a report in The South Korea Herald.

Serious damages expected

Minister Moon Seong-hyeok said, considering the time lapse between the global economic turmoil and the decline in performances, the shipping firms can expect more serious damages after the second quarter.

Repay HMM’s maturing debts

It was reported in The Herald that the Korea Development Bank and state-owned Korea Ocean Business Corporation will also spend SKw470bn to repay HMM’s maturing debts.

First sailing could also be its last?

The vessel is set to be phased into The Alliance’s FE4 Asia-North Europe service, currently operated by 12 14,500 teu Hapag-Lloyd vessels.

Demand drop for containerised goods North Europe due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, has forced The Alliance partners to merge the FE4 and FE2 strings. According to eeSea data, FE2 is currently operated by 12 18,800-21,200 teu vessels from Hapag-Lloyd and ONE. So HMM Algeciras’ first sail could also be its last, at least for a while.

Capacity allocation in FE2

According to eeSea, the estimates for the capacity allocation on the FE2 are:

  • Hapag-Lloyd takes 40% of slots, 
  • ONE 36%, 
  • Yang Ming 15% and 
  • HMM 9%.

Vessels to be delivered

The South Korean carrier will be adding significant capacity to the alliance over the next year. It ordered in September 2018 for 20 vessels from three shipyards – DSME, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI).

  • DSME is building seven 24,000 teu box ships, scheduled for delivery through to September.
  • SHI is building five 24,000 teu box ships, scheduled for delivery through to September.
  • HHI is building eight 16,000 teu vessels to be delivered from the second quarter of next year.

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Source: The LoadStar


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