HMM, the South Korean shipping company, announced on September 13, that it completed the commissioning of its twelfth and final giant boxship, the 24,000 TEU HMM St. Petersburg. The aggressive expansion program, supported by the South Korean government, saw the dozen ships which are billed as the world’s largest super-class ships enter service between May and September 2020.
The last ship of the class, the HMM St. Petersburg was built along with four other members of the class at Samsung Heavy Industries. The other seven vessels were built at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. Delivery began with the HMM Algeciras in late April 2020, followed by HMM Oslo, HMM Copenhagen, HMM Dublin, HMM Gdansk, HMM Rotterdam, HMM Hamburg, HMM Southampton, HMM Helsinki, and finally HMM Stockholm. All twelve ships are sailing between Asia and Northern Europe permitting HMM to maintain weekly sailings along the route.
With dimensions of 1,312 feet in length and a 200-foot beam, each ship qualifies as the largest of the boxships currently in service and part of a trend that has seen dramatic growth in the size of container ships in recent years. HMM, which expanded its total capacity from 400,000 to 700,000 TEUs, with these ships reports that the class of ships is highly efficient and eco-friendly creating significant advantages in the market. HMM says that despite their size the ships reduced fuel costs by 13 percent per TEU compared to its previous class of 15,000 TEU ships.
Further, HMM said that despite the sharp decrease in global volumes due to the impact of the coronavirus, the ships have been sailing full. In May, the HMM Algeciras set a world record in terms of shipments with 19,621 TEUs, and since then the sister ships have averaged approximately 19,500 TEUs on their sailings.
Ordered in September 2018, the 12 ships were built with significant support from the South Korean government as part of an overall government effort to support both the domestic shipbuilding industry and to expand the country’s shipping operations.
In addition to this class of ships, HMM also has eight 16,000 TEU-class container ships being built by Hyundai Heavy Industries. Those vessels are due to be delivered in the first half of 2021. This second class of ships will permit HMM to expand capacity to approximately 850,000 TEU and are part of the line’s strategy to reach a one million TEU capacity by 2022.
Source: Maritime Executive