HK Shipping giant orders new vessels

Orient Overseas International, the Tung family-controlled shipping company, is to invest US$477 million in four container vessels.

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Orient Overseas International, the Tung family-controlled shipping company, is to invest US$477 million in four container vessels. Samsung Heavy Industries of South Korea will build the ships, which can carry 8063 TEUs.

OOIL, parent of Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), placed orders in July with Samsung for another four container ships.

The new vessels are due for delivery by first quarter 2010, the global container transport operator said, adding that it is arranging financing for 80% of the purchase price, while the remainder will be funded internally.

“It is the view of the directors that ownership of the vessels will improve the operating efficiency and profi tability of the group," the company said in a statement.

OOIL has been strengthening its fl eet as it benefits from booming global trade. The container carrier moved one million TEUs of cargo in the third quarter, but revenue per container fell 5.2% year on year.

OOIL's complete fleet lists 46 owned and long-term chartered-in vessels, and 24 short-term chartered-in vessels.

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