Tuesday, March 19, 2013

First Maersk Triple-E Vessel to Join Fleet Soon

Maersk Line says its first-ever Triple-E vessel – Economy of scale, Energy efficiency and Environmentally improved – is due to join its fleet by the end of June. With a capacity of 18,000 20-foot containers, the Triple-E would be the largest container ship ever built.

The June launch is expected to be the first of five for Triple-E vessels in 2013, with several more joining the fleet in 2014.

The Triple-E, according to Maersk, will consume about 35 percent less fuel per container than the 13,100 TEU vessels being delivered to other container shipping lines in these years and will also reduce CO2 emissions by more than 50 percent per container moved, compared to the industry average CO2 performance on the Asia-Europe trade.

The Triple-E is built for the Asia-to-Europe service, Maersk Line’s most important trade lane. The company says its plan is to phase in the Triple-E vessels on its AE10 service, which currently calls at 13 different ports in Asia and Northern Europe.

The launch will come at a challenging time: volumes on the trade shrank by five percent in 2012 and are expected to grow by just one percent in 2013, according to estimates by industry analyst Alphaliner.

However, Maersk Line says it is monitoring demand closely and is ready to adjust capacity accordingly including returning chartered vessels to leasing partners, recycling excess tonnage, idling parts of the fleet and further implementing slow steaming.