Chinese shipping group Cosco is in talks to finalise a mega-ship order for nine 20,000 TEU ships with the option to add another four vessels.
In a previous article by PTI, it was reported that Maersk had inked a US$2 billion deal with Hyundai Heavy Industries that would enable the construction of sixteen 14,000 TEU to be delivered in 2017.
Cosco has reportedly contracted three different ship builders, including Dalian Shipbuilding Industry and Shanghai Waigaogiao Shipbuilding.
More than 600,000 TEU of ship orders have been placed in the last month, with Maersk placing a previous order for eleven 19,630 TEU ships.
CMA CGM has also placed two orders for multiple box ships of 20,000 TEU on the back of OOCL’s record-breaking order for six 21,150 TEU vessels.
The scrambling for newbuild orders is diminishing freight rates, while at the same time increasing their volatility, with monthly volatility increasing 43% on average in comparison to 2014.
Goldman Sachs has stated that fewer ship deliveries will ultimately lead to a more profitable industry, despite recent reports by Drewry that the container industry is currently experiencing a boom and that shipping lines are going through some of the most profitable periods in recent times.
Freight rates could be set to plummet further over the next couple of years as more carriers take their newbuild deliveries during 2016-2017, as well as the fact that designers are already in the design phase for the new wave of 22,000 TEU ships.