The French Line CMA CGM is believed to have firmed up three 16,000 teu jumbo container ships at Samsung Heavy Industries of South Korea. Though an official confirmation is still missing, the deal should have taken place at least one month ago already.
The sister vessels, Samsung hull numbers 2092, 2093 and 2094, are slated for delivery in March, May and July of 2015.
The ships are thus scheduled to come on stream in addition to three 16,800 teu units that CSSC Shipping of Hong Hong has ordered from Jiangnan Changxing Shipyard and Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding and which are expected to join long-term bare boat charters with CMA CGM. The French shipping line, presently the world’s number three container carrier, would thus receive six 16,000+ teu ship between February and December of 2015.
CMA CGM’s deal with Samsung has taken quite some time to materialise since it is an order with a back story and linked to earlier orders for large container ships that Hamburg’s non-operating owner Claus-Peter Offen had placed on behalf of CMA CGM. With the exception of two ships, these vessels were never delivered. The order cancellations however remained a bone of contention between CMA CGM, Offen and Samsung, until the matter could be sorted out earlier this year.
Technical specifications of the new ships are not yet in the public domain, but the in-house design for a 16,000 teu vessel that Samsung Heavy presented some years ago is for 396.00m long and 54.00m (21 rows) wide ships with a deadweight of about 180,000 dwt.
The ships of the new CMA CGM trio are expected to be built along these general parametres which, at least in terms of dimensions, are very similar to the French Line’s DSME-built 16,020 teu CMA CGM MARCO POLO and her two sisters.
Whether Samsung and the ship owner agreed to modify the original design to adapt it to today’s slow steaming environment is not known.
CMA CGM’s new jumbo ships are earmarked for services within the framework of the upcoming P3 alliance with Maersk Line and MSC.
All three of the future super group partners have committed to ships of the next generation, which are notably larger than today’s 14,000 teu ‘standard’ designs:
- Maersk Line not only has its eight 15,500 teu ‘E-class’ units of the EMMA MAERSK type, but is also gradually phasing in 20 ‘EEE-class’ ships of 18,270 teu.
- MSC is to take delivery in 2014 and 2015 of six 16,000 teu vessels chartered from London-based Zodiac (four units) and Singapore’s Eastern Pacific (two units). The ships are to be built ar STX Jinhae in South Korea. In addition, MSC is rumored to be the charterer of three 18,000 teu ships that Hong Kong Asset Management ordered at DSME.
- CMA CGM already has three DSME-built 16,020 teu ships and will add the aforementioned trios from Korea and China in 2015. By the end of 2015, the French carrier will thus have nine ships of 16,000 teu or larger.