Tuesday, November 18, 2014

New Vessel for Chinese Shipping Line is Now World's Largest Container Freight Ship

Box Carriers Just Keep Getting Ever Larger
Shipping News Feature

CHINA – SOUTH KOREA – WORLDWIDE – Freight carriers just keep getting bigger as Maersk Line’s 18,000 TEU Triple-E vessels no longer hold the title for being the world’s largest containerships. China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) is set to welcome to its fleet the first of five 19,100 TEU vessels later this month, after she was christened at a naming ceremony held at Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea. The CSCL Globe was named by He Li Jun, wife of Xu Li Rong, Chairman of parent company China Shipping Group.

The naming ceremony was attended by Xu Li Rong, Zhao Hong Zhou, Managing Director of CSCL, Qiu Guo Hong, Chinese Ambassador to Korea and Choi Kil-seon, Chairman and CEO of Hyundai Heavy Industries plus one hundred and fifty other guests.

Measuring 400 metres long and 58.6 metres wide, with a depth of 30.5 metres, the latest holder of the title of the world’s biggest containership covers an area as large as four football fields and will be deployed on the Asia-Europe trade loop after being handed over to the owner later this month. The CSCL Globe will feature a 77,200 bhp electronically controlled main engine which will enhance fuel efficiency by automatically controlling fuel consumption according to the ship’s speed and existing sea conditions. With the installation of the high efficiency engine, the containership should burn 20% less fuel per TEU in comparison with container vessels of half her maximum capacity.

CSCL initially ordered five 18,400 TEU vessels in May 2013, costing around $700 million, but subsequently upgraded its order to handle 700 more containers. This ship comes at a good time for the Chinese Government-owned entity which has just reported a profit in the first nine months of 2014 with a net profit of around $108 million after reporting a net loss of around $272 million in the same period last year. In addition to the good financial showing, CSCL has also signed the Ocean Three vessel sharing agreement with competitors, CMA CGM and UASC, which has recently gained regulatory approval by the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), though such an arrangement is naturally not free from some controversy.

Photo: Courtesy of Hyundai Heavy Industries