Korean carrier Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) has ordered 20 new ships which will double its capacity to just under 700,000 teu.
The company has ordered 12 vessels capable of carrying more than 20,000 teu and eight with a capacity of 14,000 teu, which have a combined total of more than 350,000 teu.
According to Alphaliner, HMM has a current capacity of 343,000 teu, but the company said this order launched a new strategy to take that figure to 1m teu.
An HMM spokesperson said: ““Through the acquisition of the most technologically advanced mega container ships, we can strengthen cost competitiveness and react rapidly to the international environmental regulations.”
The larger ships will be deployed on the Asia-North Europe lines and the smaller vessels will be used for US East Coast trade.
New International Maritime Organisation (IMO) regulations state that from 2020 a vessel’s fuel must have a maximum sulphur content of 0.5%, reduced from 3.5%, and as such HMM’s new ships will run on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and will also be fitted with scrubbers.
HMM said: “All the new vessels will be sequentially delivered in the right time to prepare for the 2020 environmental regulations.”
This order comes less than a week after the Korean government announced a ‘5 Year Plan for Rebuilding Korean Shipping’.
Korean media reported the government will help local shipping firms place orders for 200 vessels by 2020, 60 of which will be container ships.