Maersk shifts giant 17,816 teu pair onto booming transpacific

Two of the largest ships to ever ply the transpacific will shortly set off as the tradelane continues to experience boom times ahead of US tariffs on certain Chinese imports due to kick on January 1 next year.

Maersk is redeploying the 17,816 teu sister ships Eleonora Maersk and Eugen Maersk on to the TP-6/Pearl service it operates with MSC. The E class ships will replace the 13,102 teu Maersk Ensenada and 13,568 teu Maersk Essen for the duration of one round voyage, according to Alphaliner.

The two huge ships fall just short of the 17,859 teu CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin, which performed three transpacific round voyages in 2016 before shifting to Asia-Europe duties, the traditional home of boxships in excess of 15,000 teu.

Carriers have deployed plenty more capacity onto the transpacific in recent months as spot rates have picked up from lows of below $1,000 per feu in February to highs in excess of $2,500.

“Shippers from China are rushing to ship their goods to US before 1 January 2019 when higher tariffs of 25% will hit various imports from China into the US,” Alphaliner stated.

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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