Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) has signed several newbuilding contracts for seven 23,000 TEU containerships, with delivery scheduled to begin in 2023.
In an online update, the COSCO-owned container shipping line said its expansion into this class of mega-vessels is consistent with its “strategic plan” to form a “complete independent loop of optimal size in Asia-Europe trade”.
Additionally, the company said it wanted to further enhance fleet efficiency and improve its customer service offering. The new vessels will be the biggest in OOCL’s fleet.
“Today’s investment supports our strong belief in this trade as one of the world’s major corridors of commerce for decades to come.”
In announcing this deal, OOCL has become the latest major carrier to pursue mega-ships of 23,000 TEU plus capacity, to meet demand, cut costs and increase efficiency.
HMM earlier in 2020 launched its latest fleet of mega-ships, and its HMM Algeciras is currently the largest containership in the world.
Similarly, CMA CGM has launched a fleet of LNG-fueled mega-ships, the largest of which, the CMA CGM Jacques Saade, is on its maiden voyage.
Furthermore, the news is another sign that container shipping lines have for the most part not been discouraged by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Container shipping lines have seen their revenues increase throughout 2020 due to higher freight rates and lower fuel costs.