CMA CGM finally confirms orders for record-breaking 22,000 teu ships

In one of the longest telegraphed orders in the 62-year history of container shipping, France’s CMA CGM has finally come clean about its record-breaking series of 22,000 teu ships. Split between Shanghai’s top two yards – Waigaoqiao and Hudong-Zhonghua – the LNG-fuelled ships are the largest boxships ever ordered and will start delivering from the end of 2019.

The ships, which were first reported by Splash last month, are costing $133.33m each and will be deployed on the Asia-Europe tradelane. The new vessels will keep CMA CGM in third place in the global liner rankings with fellow Ocean Alliance member Cosco snapping at its heels as it moves to take over Hong Kong’s OOCL.

Rodolphe Saadé, the CEO of CMA CGM, said, while unveiling the company’s second quarter results on Friday, the new ships would maintain the line’s competitiveness.

CMA CGM saw volumes leap by a third year-on-year in the second quarter, moving 4.73m teu. It swung to from a net loss of $129m to a net profit of $219m.

“Given the recent trend in freight rates, and excluding a significant change in fuel prices and exchange rates, CMA CGM expects to continue to improve its operating results in the second semester compared to the first semester,” the Marseille-headquartered company said in a release.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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