According to company officials, Hapag-Lloyd has ordered five 10,500 TEU containers ships to operate in the South American market.
The new container ships, scheduled for delivery between October 2016 and May 2017, will be outfitted with 2,100 refrigerated plugs to facilitate containers filled with fruit, vegetables, fish and pharmaceutical products.
Hapag-Lloyd has reported that the vessels will give it the "optimal fleet" to take advantage of it's acquisition of CSAV and the expansion of the Panama Canal, which will allow vessels up to 14,000 TEUs to travel through the waterway when it opens in early 2016.
Hapag-Lloyd is hardly the only carrier increasing its presence in trade lanes connecting to South America. United Arab Shipping Co. in November said it would make a "significant investment" in its refrigerated container fleet serving the market. UASC first gained presence in the market through a slot-sharing agreement with Hamburg Sud signed in September. As well, the Mediterranean Shipping Co.– following the termination of its charter agreement with CSAV, has expanded its South America operations.