Maersk says bigger vessels are also “greener”

The vessels on order are scheduled for delivery between 2013 and 2015, and the Danish carrier also has an option for an additional 20 vessels

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In a move signaling confidence in renewed demand for capacity, Maersk Line has signed a contract with Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd. to build 10 of the world’s largest vessels in the global container flreet.

The vessels on order are scheduled for delivery between 2013 and 2015, and the Danish carrier also has an option for an additional 20 vessels.

Called the “Triple-E” class for the three main purposes behind their creation — Economy of scale, Energy efficient and Environmentally improved — these new container vessels do not just set a new benchmark for size: they will surpass the current industry records for fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions per container moved held by the Emma Mærsk class vessels, said spokesmen.

Not everyone endorses the idea, however.

“Shipping rates, oil price movements, and increased regulatory actions are some of the biggest issues facing shippers today,” said Luciana Suran, an economist with CB Richard Ellis Economic Advisors. “Overbuilding of ships has resulted in depressed freight rates, and this pressure is expected to continue this year.”

Nonetheless, Maersk announced the newbuildings with considerable fanfare, noting that The Triple-E will produce 20 percent less CO2 per container moved compared to Emma Mærsk and 50 percent less than the industry average on the Asia-Europe trade lane. In addition, it will consume approximately 35 percent less fuel per container than the 13,100 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) vessels being delivered to other container shipping lines in the next few years, also for Asia-Europe service. ?

“One of the biggest challenges we face in the world today is how to meet the growing needs of a growing population and the impact that is going to have on our planet,” said Eivind Kolding, CEO of Maersk Line.

“International trade will continue to play a key role in the development of the global economy, but, for the health of the planet, we must continue to reduce our CO2 emissions. It is not only a top priority for us, but also for our customers, who depend on us in their supply chain, and also for a growing number of consumers who base their purchasing decisions on this type of information,”

About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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