Maersk, the world’s biggest container shipping line, has ordered the largest vessels ever built.
The firm’s US$3.08 billion order amounts to a huge gamble on market growth. Maersk wants more ships to carry vast quantities of Chinese-made goods from Asia to Europe as trade between the two continents continues to expand.
Eivind Kolding, Maersk Line chief executive, said the order for 10 new container ships was needed to meet anticipated growth of 5-8% in the container shipping market.
Each of the ships will have a capacity of 18,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).
If Maersk Line takes up its options for a further 20 vessels, the order will be the biggest one ever placed, the Liverpool Daily Post reported.
Kolding said these new bigger ships would offer significant economies of scale. “The cost of operating these ships will be 26% less per container moved compared with ships operating today,” he said.