CMA CGM orders six new 14,000-teu container ships
The French shipping giant CMA CGM has ordered six 14,000-teu container ships from Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) for delivery from late 2016 through to mid-2017.
CMA CGM now has 13 ships under construction in South Korea, China and the Philippines as it seeks to keep up with Maersk Line and MSC, the number one and two shipping lines in the world by capacity.
CMA CGM now has 1.75-million container slots in its fleet including newbuilds according to Alphaliner, putting it 840,000 behind MSC and 1.29-million slots behind Maersk Line, which is the largest shipping company in the world by some margin, with a fleet of more than 600 ships.
Although Hyundai Heavy Industries has declined to comment, the early delivery commitments by the shipyard shows how dramatically its order book has contracted in recent months due to the decline in offshore orders following the oil price drop and shipping line’s pull back from new orders amid depressed freight rates.
The shipping industry is in a difficult position at present with newbuilds coming onto the market outpacing growth in demand for shipping. As a result, average freight rates on key routes, such as the Asia-Europe corridor, have fallen significantly.
Despite this, Maersk Line has continued with its build them bigger strategy in an effort to reduce per-teu costs and thereby support its bottom line, recently ordering 11 20,000-teu ships that will replace its Triple E class in terms of capacity.