Container shipping leader Maersk Line has purchased seven 3,600 TEU ice class container vessels from the COSCO Shipyard in Zhoushan, China. The vessels will be deployed specifically in the Baltic and North Sea Regions and are built for the trade routes in Northern Europe, where vessels must travel through ice. The new-builds will replace several of the company's aging container vessels, which are half the size (or less) of the ships on-order.
I am very happy to announce this new order and the first in our investment programme. Our strategy is to grow with the market and to do so we need new vessels from 2017. We expect to place additional orders during 2015. I am very confident that COSCO Shipyard, with their solid shipbuilding experience and a good track record will deliver high quality and fuel efficient vessels.- Maersk Line, COO
The purchases are part of an investment program that, over the next five years, will see Maersk Line invest $15 billion in vessel new building, retrofitting programmes, containers, and other equipment. According to officials at Maersk Line, the company will be able to increase capacity in-line with global container shipping growth and demand, as well as replace less efficient chartered tonnage.