Maersk Line denied Tuesday that it was in talks with shipyards to order 10 giant container ships, but said it was only monitoring the capacity situation at yards.
The Danish carrier’s denial came in response to a report in Lloyd’s List that it was in early talks with yards in China and South Korea to replenish its fleet with container ships bigger than anything that exists today.
The paper cited one ship broker as saying Maersk had asked yards to tender for 10 ships with capacity of 16,000 20-foot equivalent units, bigger than its super-sized vessels of more than 14,000 TEUs.
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“We have not ordered 10 vessels,” A.P. Moller-Maersk's Head of Group Finance Jan Kjaervik told Reuters. “It is a matter of fact that as a normal procedure we are looking at the capacity at the yards and the situation there,” he said.
“No decision has been taken to order vessels,” he said.
Kjaervik said that Maersk, with a large fleet and a roughly 20-year replacement cycle, would eventually need to replace vessels.
“But the judgment that we are making now is to look at the stability of the market,” he said.
Evergreen Line and Neptune Orient Lines have placed orders, and container ship lessor Seaspan has said it is ready to sign contracts for new vessels.
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