OOCL ordered six new ships Wednesday, each with capacities of 13,000 20-foot-equivalent units.
The Hong Kong-based liner carrier said it signed a contract with Samsung Heavy Industries for the construction of the container ships, in the first order it has ever placed for mega container vessels of this size.
With bunker fuel prices rising over $600 a metric ton, CC Tung, chairman and CEO of OOIL, parent of OOCL, told The Journal of Commerce earlier this month the carrier would order the big ships to reduce its slot costs. Tung spoke on the eve of The Journal of Commerce's 11th Annual Trans-Pacific Maritime Conference in Long Beach on March 7-8.
Tung said the liner company had waited until now to place the order because it was waiting to see if it could merge with or acquire another carrier during the Great Recession.
"The period for consolidation is over," he said.
The six container vessels are to be delivered by 2013.
-- Contact Peter T. Leach at firstname.lastname@example.org.