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Maersk sees 13,000-TEU vessels as industry choice in future

Copenhagen's AP Moller-Maersk, owner of the world's biggest container line, says its order for twenty 18,000-TEU vessels will not flood the market with super megaships, as rival say but rather 13,000 TEUers will become common, according to a Reuters report carried in the Shipping Gazette.

The report, quoting Maersk vessel management chief Soren Andersen, said the company's order did not amount to "aggressive expansion" because it did not exceed expectations for market growth, reports Reuters.

"We believe we are below the average of our competitors in fleet growth over the next three years and below the market growth," Andersen said. "We have tried to be conservative, and that is what is needed."

Anderson said he did not believe the 18,000-TEUers, costing US$190 million each, would become the new industry standard like the more common 13,000 TEU ships with the expansion of the Panama Canal by 2015.

"Generally, it will be only very few companies who will go for these ships. Fuel is so much more important than five years ago. It is changing the whole industry, as we can see with slow steaming. These ships are designed for slow speeds [17-22 knots]. We are not adding horsepower," he said.

Source: Shipping Gazette