ContainersGreater China

Cosco develops record-breaking 25,000 teu ship design

A Cosco ship design subsidiary has completed designs for a record-breaking 25,000 teu ship.

Shanghai Ship and Shipping Research Institute (SSSRI), a unit of Cosco Shipping, has got the design approved by CSSC No.708 Institute, part of the nation’s largest shipbuilding group.

According to SSSRI, the development of the new ultra large containership meets the requirements of the government’s China Manufacturing 2025 strategic plan and ties in with the country’s Belt and Road initiative.

When contacted by Splash, an official at SSSRI said Cosco is still studying the market and no newbuilding order has been planned yet.

The latest results from MarPoll, our quarterly survey, show 59% of readers believe the ordering frenzy for ultra large container vessels is now over.

Speaking at TPM in early March, the giant container conference in Long Beach, Søren Skou, the CEO of AP Moller-Maersk, questioned the need for 25,000 teu ships.

Skou said Maersk’s investments going forward would be elsewhere rather than on so-called megamaxes, a ship type he likened to Airbus’s A380 aircraft, which has proven to not be a commercial success.

Maersk’s partner on the 2M vessel sharing agreement, MSC, is readying to take on a series of record-breaking 23,000 teu ships shortly.

Andy Lane, director of Asia for SeaIntelligence Maritime Analysis, also questioned whether Cosco should push ahead with this record breaking boxship move.

“This would appear to be a risky move, at times when long-haul demand continues to soften,” Lane told Splash, adding: “The slot cost saving of a 25,000 teu capacity ship versus one of 20,000 teu is minimal, all other things being equal. With some of that value being eroded by the additional three days per rotation of in-port time, reduced service offerings and risk of poorer utilisation levels.”

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.


  1. There is an assumption on the part of some of the commentators that COSCO is
    in business to make money. Really? Or are they a public-utility like entity there to serve the national interests of China, which is a coordinated effort involving manufacturing and shipping?

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