Hapag-Lloyd, the fifth biggest container shipper line in the world by market share, has postponed its plans to build a new fleet of 23,000 TEU mega-ships due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The carrier had been due to join other major liners, such as CMA CGM, COSCO and Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM), in launching mega-ships in excess of 20,000 TEU.
Its CEO Rolf Habben Jansen was quoted earlier this week saying that Hapag-Lloyd still needed mega-ships but that the uncertainty brought on by the pandemic meant it wasn’t going to place orders soon.
When contacted by Port Technology International (PTI), Hapag-Lloyd confirmed that had indeed postponed plans and that it will reassess once the crisis is over.
Carriers are increasingly looking to mega-ships as they expand their fleets to meet ever-growing customer demand.
HMM unveiled the world’s biggest ship this week, the ‘HMM Algecrias’, which has a total capacity of 24,000 TEU.
However, the pandemic has caused business uncertainty in many of the world’s biggest hubs and maritime regions, forcing short and long term reassessments of operations.
The rapidly increasing number of blank sailings, for example, has made some exporters and ports entirely readdress their supply chain strategy.