Maersk said it will charter 13 new feeder containerships for use in the intra-Asia trade to replace older vessels.
Peter Lund, vice president, head of chartering for A.P. Møller – Maersk said in a statement, “As stated in our 2018 annual report, continued capex discipline remains a key focus area for Maersk. We will make no new orders of large vessels before 2020, at the earliest, and we reiterate our target to keep fleet capacity around 4 million TEU in 2019.”
But he said as a global operator of more than 700 vessels, “Maersk is continuously reviewing the fleet composition to ensure it matches current and future operational requirements. This includes reviews and evaluation of the opportunities to charter, purchase or sell vessels, as well as limited ordering of newbuildings in select vessel segments.”
As a result, he said the company has agreed to charter 13 new 2,200-TEU ships that will be “owned and fully financed by third-party vessel leasing companies. Our fleet currently has around 250 vessels in the segment below 3,000 TEU capacity — including more than 20 owned vessels aged around 20 years.”
The new ships will replace vessels that are both owned and chartered by Maersk and are “designed and optimized for operational profiles, for which optimal vessels are not available in the market. Upon delivery, they will operate in Sealand’s intra Asia-network” and replace ships reaching the end of their lifetime in the next few years.
Lund said five of the ships will be built at the Jiangnan shipyard in China, five will be built at the Imabari shipyard in Japan and three will be built at the Zhoushan Changhong shipyard in China. The Imabari and Jiangnan ships are expected to be delivered in the first half of 2021, and the Zhoushan Changhong ships are expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2020 and first half of 2021.
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