German container shipping company Hapag-Lloyd announced on Tuesday that it has placed orders for an additional six ultra large containerships amid continued strong demand in the box shipping market.
The 23,500+ TEU newbuilds are in addition to six of the same size and type ordered from Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering at the end of 2020. The fist six vessels are scheduled for delivery in 2023, followed by the next six in 2024.
Hapag-Lloyd and its peers in the sector have been placing more orders for new containerships amid greater demand and higher freight rate income while ship shortages and port congestion continue to wreak havoc across global supply chains.
“Although this order will not provide immediate relief for the current capacity shortage, it underlines our commitment to satisfy your demand and provide you with the best possible service for your supply chains,” Hapag-Lloyd said in a letter to customers.
All 12 of the new containerships will be deployed for Europe-Far East services as part of THE Alliance.
The vessels will be fitted with a fuel-efficient high-pressure dual-fuel engines, which will operate primarily on cleaner burning liquefied natural gas (LNG), but will have alternatively sufficient tank capacity to operate on conventional fuel.
“While we are only looking at LNG as a medium-term solution, it is currently the most promising fuel on our path to a zero-emission future,” said Hapag-Lloyd, which recently converted its first large containership to run on LNG.
Hapag-Lloyd said it lined up green financing for the newly ordered vessels, as it did for the first six. “The additional six ships have been financed through a syndicated green loan of $852 million. The transaction was concluded in accordance with the Green Loan Principles of the Loan Market Association (LMA) while also being verified by an independent expert in the form of a secondary party opinion of the DNV,” the company said.