The carrier said the vessels will significantly increase its competitiveness and will be a core part of its sustainability strategy.
They will be fitted with a state-of-the-art high pressure dual fuel engine, which the carrier said will be extremely fuel efficient, and will operate on liquified natural gas (LNG).
The Korean ship yard Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering will build the 23,500+ TEU vessels and deliver them to Hapag-Lloyd between April and December 2023.
Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd said: “With the investment in six ultra large container vessels we will not only be able to reduce slot costs and improve our competitiveness on the Europe – Far East trade, but also take a significant step forward in modernizing our fleet.
“Additionally we will further reduce our environmental impact.”
The announcement is another sign of the recovery of the container shipping sector following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most of the major carriers have seen profits increase in 2020, particularly in the final six months.
Blank sailings have pushed up freight rates and the plunging price of oil has made fuel cheap. These factors have combined with a surge in exports from China, which has increased demand for vessel space.
Hapag-Lloyd saw its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increase by more than 20% in the first nine months of 2020.
It is also further proof of the growing popularity of the new class of mega-ships with capacities of 23,000 TEU vessels or more.
Hapag-Lloyd cancelled a previous mega-ship order in April due to uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In making this order, Hapag-Lloyd has joined HMM, MSC and CMA CGM in increasing its vessel capacity.