Yesterday, Maerk Line, the world’s largest container operator signed a new build contract with South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries for 9 container vessels with a capacity of 14.000 teu each. Furthermore an option for another 8 vessels is included with an overall length of 353 mtrs.

The contract was signed by Mr. Sam H. Ka, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of HHI and Mr. Søren Toft, COO of Maersk Line and has a value of us$ 1.1 billion. The nine vessels will join Maersk Line’s fleet in 2017 and be Singapore-flagged.

The new contract marks the third new-building order in Maersk Line’s investment program announced last September 2014, the company’s first new ships since the first 20 record-breaking Triple-E’s were ordered from Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co shipyard in South Korea. Maersk Line’s announced order follows the seven 3,600 teu feeder vessels signed with COSCO Shipyard in Zhoushan China and eleven 19,630 teu Triple-E vessels from DSME announced earlier this year as part of Maersk Line’s us$15 billion investment in new-buildings, retrofitting, containers and other equipment. Maersk Line will thus be able to acquire the capacity it needs, replace less efficient tonnage and increase its share of owned vessels.

Søren Toft stated he was very pleased about this order for which we have taken a new approach. The vessels will be designed to operate in and perform efficiently across many trades and not just designed for one specific trade. They will help us stay competitive and make our fleet more flexible and efficient

Maersk Line’s container fleet consists today of 273 owned vessels with a total capacity 1.7 million teu and 335 chartered vessels with a combined capacity of 1.2 million teu. Maersk Line’s order book now corresponds to 500,000 teu capacity, with the 7 Baltic Feeder vessels to be taken for delivery in 2017; 11 19,000+ teu vessels for delivery in 2017-2018; 11 9.500-10.000 teu chartered vessels for delivery in 2015-2016; and the 9 14,000 TEU vessels announced yesterday.