Massive Ships on China's Horizon

“Shipowners want bigger and speedier containerships to remain competitive in today’s ever-changing containership market,” said a Hyundai Heavy Industries announcement that its shipbuilding group had received an order for four 10,000 TEU containerships. The ships were ordered by China’s ocean carrier COSCO and have an anticipated delivery date of 2008.

The ships will measure 349 meters long and 45.6 meters wide. Each ship will be fitted with a 94,000-horsepower engine, which will provide a service speed of 25.8 knots (nearly 30 miles per hour).

With a capacity of 10,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units, the ships are the largest class of containership currently in service. However, Hyundai has already completed design ad development of a 12,000 TEU vessel.

Demand is high for containerships. Hyundai reports its order book for containerships over 8,000 TEUs stands at 35 units. This, says the company, is 35% of the global containership market. Hyundai has targeted orders for 66 ships in 2005 and plans to deliver 70 ships this year, an increase from 64 ships in 2004.

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