Taiwanese carrier Evergreen has finally embraced mega container ships, agreeing to charter 10 13,800 20-foot equivalent unit vessels ordered today at South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries.
Greek ship management company Enesel SA placed the $1.2 billion order for the ships, which will be leased to Evergreen for an initial five years with deliveries due in the second half of 2013.
Evergreen, the world’s fifth-largest carrier, has long been skeptical about costly investments in container ships of more than 10,000 TEUs, even as rivals placed orders for scores of vessels up to 14,000 TEUs and Maersk contracted for 20 18,000-TEU ships.
Evergreen’s ships are much cheaper — around $120 million each — than earlier orders that peaked at $170 million and are significantly more fuel efficient than similar-sized vessels.
Enesel, primarily a tanker and bulk carrier operator, has four 9,814-TEU container ships on order at Hyundai that will be chartered to German carrier Hamburg Sud for 10 years on delivery in 2014.
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