The Hamburg-based container line Hapag-Lloyd has taken delivery of the sixth unit in a series of ten identical neopanamax vessels, the 13,196 teu ESSEN EXPRESS. The 366-metre ship was built by Hyundai Heavy Industries at Ulsan, South Korea. It follows Hapag-Lloyd’s SHANGHAI EXPRESS delivered in March.
Six ships of the series were originally ordered as 8,750 teu units. At a later stage, Hapag-Lloyd extended the series to ten vessels. At the same time, the Germany carrier upgraded the orders to ten ships of 13,196 teu.
In March, the former ESSEN EXPRESS, a 4,639 teu panamax vessel built in 1993 was renamed BOSTON EXPRESS to free the name for the much larger newbuilding, so that one of the Hapag-Lloyd flagships can carry this traditional name. The new vessel is named after the city of Essen in Germany’s industrial Ruhr area. With close to 600,000 inhabitants, Essen is the ninth-largest city in Germany. Despite the past decades’s decline of much of the Ruhr area’s heavy industry and mining, Essen is still a major industrial town. Thanks to its central location it is also a major logistics hub.
The new ESSEN EXPRESS will phase into the G6 Alliance’s Loop 5 at the end of this week. While Hapag-Lloyd is still to receive one more 13,196 teu ship this year, the shipping line declared earlier this year that the remaining three vessels of the series had been deferred to 2014. Hapag-Lloyd decided to postpone the ships in order to reflect the ongoing overcapacity in the container shipping market.