United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) has taken up its option for a sixth 18,000 teu vessel, bringing the total US$2bn order with Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in Korea to 17 ships, including eleven 14,000 teu vessels and six ultra-large container vessels (ULCVs).
Representing the largest order in UASC’s history, the vessels will be amongst the largest [although China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) has ordered 18,400 teu capacity vessels], most technologically advanced, and most environmentally friendly container vessels ever built, according to the shipping line. The 18,000 teu vessels will be deployed on the Asia and Europe trade lanes.
Back in September last year, the shipping line placed its initial order for the first five 18,000 teu and five 14,000 teu vessels, the latter subsequently increased to 11 vessels. This was seen by Drewry as the first major challenge to the top players’ vessel capacity supremacy since Coscon and CSCL entered the container market in the late 1990’s.
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