Systematic fleet expansion for Hapag-Lloyd

by Canadian Shipper

Hapag-Lloyd has signed a contract for the long-term charter of four large containerships in order to increase its capacities in view of the ongoing growth in global container transport. The newbuildings will be delivered at the end of 2003 and beginning of 2004.

“We are confident that, despite the present downturn, global container transport will continue to grow in the long term and have thus decided to expand our fleet by adding four more units so as to offer our customers adequate capacities,” commented Gnther Casjens, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd Container Line.

The four newbuildings will be delivered at the end of 2003 and beginning of 2004 for chartering by Hapag-Lloyd on a long-term basis.

The 85,000t/6,750 TEU vessels will be 300m long and 40m wide and have a service speed of 26 knots. They will operate in the Europe-Asia service of the Grand Alliance, the leading consortium in international liner shipping.

“Container transport by sea is growing steadily at between five and six percent annually as a result of the general expansion of trade and the continuing containerisation of conventional general cargo,” explained Gnther Casjens.

Hapag-Lloyd currently deploys a fleet of 29 modern containerships. It is to take delivery of the first newbuilding in a series of four 7,500 TEU vessels in late October 2001, the other three units then following up to March 2003. These ships will be among the largest in the world. With the vessels now ordered, by spring 2004 the Hapag-Lloyd fleet will comprise 37 units, including 18 identical ships with 4,900 TEU capacity, as well as the eight newbuildings capable of carrying 6,750 or 7,500 TEU.

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