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Ultra-large containership orderbook hits 1.3m teu

Ultra-large containership orderbook hits 1.3m teu
The orderbook for ultra-large containerships (ULCs) has hit 1.3m teu as the race to contract ever bigger vessels continues.

Brokers Banchero Costa said in their weekly report that there were now 112 vessels of 12,000 teu and above on order with a total capacity of 1.3m. Of these 45 newbuildings are expected to enter service this year.

“Ordering (of) very large container vessels has become a race between the different container lines over which line holds the biggest vessel on order or trading,” the report noted.

Last week Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) crossed the 20,000 teu threshold with a contract for a quartet of 20,150 teu vessels at Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI).

“The main argument in favour of these vessels is the economies of scale achieved; however there are concerns over the ability of liner companies to fill these vessels,” Banchero Costa commented.

The current fleet of 12,000 teu and above containerships stands at 198 vessels, with a combined capacity of 2.78m teu, or 15% of the capacity of the global fleet of ships for more than 500 teu.