The container pool was significantly reduced by the return of leased containers and the sale of old owned boxes. In contrast, the slot capacity of deployed vessels, at 304,000 teu, remained roughly constant. With the replacement of smaller charter vessels by larger newbuildings, the strategy of lowering unit costs is continuing. The fleet operated by the Hamburg Süd Group, with the inclusion of 52 vessels in the tramp division, comprised 148 units, 36 of them Group-owned.
The programme of increasing the owned share of vessels is to be continued in the years ahead. By 2012, twelve ships with a total capacity of some 80,000 teu will enhance the Group-owned fleet. They include ten vessels of the “Santa” class, which, with a nominal capacity of 7,100 TEU, will be the largest ships in the Hamburg Süd fleet.
In 2009, investment was limited to Euro167m (2008: Euro530m). For the coming three years an increase of over Euro 700m in capital expenditure on ships and containers is planned.