Daewoo Shipbuilding will build more mega-ships for the Danish ocean carrier, according to recent media reports.
Maersk to order several 20,000-TEU ships.
While Maersk Line would not confirm them, there were several press reports in recent days that Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering will build 11 large containerships for the Danish shipping company each with a capacity for about 20,000 TEUs.
Quoting an industry source, The Korea Economic Daily reported that the contract is worth $1.7 billion or about $151 million.
Maersk spokesman Michael Storgaard said, “We per principle do not comment on rumors/speculation.” Maersk is scheduled to report its first quarter results and hold a teleconference on Wednesday.
Earlier this year, A.P. Moller-Maersk CEO Nils Andersen said he expects investments in Maersk Line over the next five years to be about $3 billion per year on ships, containers and other assets.
The company has said it expects seaborne container transportation to grow 3-5 percent this year and that the company aims to grow with the market.
The Korean newspaper said Maersk is “currently negotiating final details” of a new order for the 20,000-TEU containerships. It added, “In the bidding, Hyundai Heavy Industries was also a contender.”
SeaTrade pointed to a disclosure provided by Daewoo to the Korea Stock Exchange that did not name Maersk but said “it was in talks with a European shipowner for 11 containerships for a total price of $1.7 billion.”
In 2011, Maersk Line ordered 20 ships with capacity for 18,270 TEUs from Daewoo. The last five of those ships are being delivered this year.
Just last week, the shipping consultant Ben Hackett of Hackett Associates noted that while container volumes on U.S. trades are expected to be higher this year “ship owners are launching an excessive number of large new vessels that could lead to a price war on shipping rates.”
“This upsets the supply/demand balance,” Hackett said. “There is not enough demand to justify this level of capacity increase. Expect rates on both coastal services (from the Far East to the east coast and west coast of the U.S.) to fall to all-time lows.”