Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New Build Orders Flying Fast and Furious

Unofficial reports continue to swirl about a major new vessel order by Orient Overseas Container Line. Officials with the carrier have yet to put their name to any announcement, but Lloyd's of London reported from an unnamed source that the Hong Kong-based carrier is very close to finalizing an order for as many as 10 new container vessels from Samsung Heavy Industries, each with a capacity of 13,000 TEUs.

In more concrete news, German carrier Hamburg Süd has officially placed an order for six 9,600 TEU vessels from South Korea-based Hyundai Heavy Industries. The contract, which is valued at $711 million and includes an option for four additional vessels of the same type, calls for scheduled delivery between May 2013 and January 2014.

The six vessels are part of 13 new orders, worth a total of $3.4 billion, won so far this year by Hyundai.

The orders fall on the heels of last month's announcement of a ten-build order placed by Maersk with South Korea-based Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering. The new builds are reportedly 18,000 TEU vessels. The contract, worth an estimated $6 billion, also provides Maersk the option to purchase 20 more of the same class.

At more than 1,300 feet long and nearly 200 feet wide, the new Maersk ships, when delivered, will easily be the largest container ships afloat in the world.