Liner carriers Zim and Hapag-Lloyd both announced today that they were postponing or canceling containership orders.
Zim said it had reached an agreement to immediately cancel orders for five vessels and postpone delivery of an unspecified number of others to 2016.
The Israeli carrier also said it had an option to cancel four additional orders pending approval by shipyards.
Zim did not provide details on the ships being cancelled or postponed, but according to BlueWater Reporting, it had 13 ships on order, nine 12,600-TEU ships from Samsung and four 10,000-TEU ships from Hyundai.
Zim labeled the announcement a "significant achievement" for the company, noting the agreements relieve it from an off-balance sheet obligation of
$1.4 billion. It said it will be refunded for advance payments in the amount of $30 million for the cancelled orders. The agreement postpones or cancels payments due in 2013, amounting to $235 million.
Zim said it expects to state a loss of $133 million in the fourth quarter of 2012 as a result of the cancellations.
Meanwhile, Hapag-Lloyd said it has postponed the delivery of three fully-financed 13,200-TEU newbuildings from the second half of 2013 to March and April 2014 as a result of the latest transport volume forecasts.
Hapag-Lloyd has ordered 10 of the 13,200-TEU ships in December 2010, which are to be deployed in the Asia-Europe trade as part of its participation in the G6 alliance. Four of those ships are already operating, a fifth will be delivered at the end of March, two more this summer, and the last three have been postponed until next year. - Chris Dupin