Japan-based shipping line Ocean Network Express has announced plans for the long-term charter of the world’s largest containerships.
The company has signed a Letter of Intent with shipowner Shoei Kisen Kaisha to charter six Ultra Large Container Ships newbuilds with capacity of more than 24,000 TEU, each for a period of 15 years.
The newbuildings are planned to be built by the consortium of Imabari Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. and Japan Marine United Corporation and the company expect to take delivery in 2023 and 2024.
“This new class of ships will join our core fleet and forms part of our ongoing strategy to introduce large, modern, and fuel-efficient vessels to further strengthen our fleet competitiveness,” ONE said in a statement.
With capacity exceeding 24,000 twenty-foot units, the new ships will likely be the largest in the world, just slightly larger than the current titleholders: HMM of South Korea’s twelve 23,964 TEU newbuilds which kicked off with delivery of HMM Algeciras in April.
ONE says the new ships will feature a state-of-the-art hull design that aims to maximize cargo intake and minimize fuel consumption. The vessels will also be equipped with exhaust gas cleaning systems, aka scrubbers, to meet the emissions regulations of IMO.
“This initiative represents ONE’s ongoing efforts to offer more competitive and best-in-class services to our customers through the introduction of ULCS that have a decreased environmental impact. It reaffirms our commitment to operational excellence, business sustainability and environmental protection,” ONE said.
Ocean Network Express, or ONE, was formed in 2017 through the combination of Japan’s three biggest container shipping lines; NYK Line, “K” Line and MOL. It kicked off operations in 2018 as the world’s sixth largest container shipping company and controlled a fleet of about 224 vessels vessels with a combined capacity of 1,590,000 TEU as of January 2020. This includes seven 14,000 TEU newbuilds which were ordered after the integration of the companies. These included the ONE Apus which earlier this month lost a 1,816 containers overboard in Pacific Ocean.