Hapag-Lloyd today named the “Hamburg Express,” the first of 10 13,200 20-foot-equivalent units container ships, the largest in the German ocean carrier’s fleet, which will deployed on the Asia-Europe trades.
The new vessel will join the G6 Alliance’s loop, which starts in Hamburg and calls at Rotterdam, Singapore, and the Chinese ports of Yantian, Ningbo and Shanghai, before returning via Yantian, Singapore and Southampton. It will replace an 8,000-TEU ship currently deployed on the route.
Two more 13,200 TEUs vessels will join the Hapag-Lloyd fleet in late September and mid-November with the remaining seven ships due for delivery through 2013.
Hapag-Lloyd said the new ships, which are all being built by South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai and will fly the German flag, will allow the company to return more costly chartered tonnage and adjust its fleet capacity in line with market demand.
“The entry into a new class [of ship] is something we have thought hard and long about,” Hapag-Lloyd Chief Executive Michael Behrendt said at the naming ceremony for the ship at the Container Terminal Altenwerder in Hamburg.
“With the modern, extremely efficient new builds in the “Hamburg Express” class, we are not only ensuring that Hapag-Lloyd stays competitive in future, but we are also pursuing our strategy of sustainable growth in line with the market.”
Including the Hamburg Express, which was named by Behrendt’s wife Cornelia, the Hapag-Lloyd fleet will total 147 ships with a combined capacity of 674,000 TEUs.
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