Maersk Line has signed a contract for ten giant “Triple E” container vessels with an option to buy another 20.
The new ship will be the largest known to be in operation, at 400 metres long, 59 metres wide and 73 metres tall and with a capacity of 18,000 teu.
Each ship will cost £119m ($190m) giving a contract value of £3.6bn ($5.7bn) for all 30. Maersk is buying the ships to capitalise on the expected five to eight per cent growth in trade from Asia to Europe.
The largest container ship in operation is currently the Emma Maersk which has a capacity of some 15,500 teu.
The Triple E
The “Triple E” name reflects the three specifications behind the ship’s design: economy of scale; energy efficiency and environmentally improved. Compared to the industry average on the Asia–Europe trade lane, the new ships use 50 per cent less CO2 per container moved.
The shipping line points out that the Triple-E class travels 184 kilometres using 1 kWh of energy per ton of cargo, whereas a jumbo jet travels half a kilometre using the same amount of energy per ton of cargo.
Maersk chief Eivind Kolding said: “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.”
The vessels will be delivered from Korea’s DSME shipyard from 2013 to 2015.