Moment of truth for Japanese shipbuilding with naming of landmark 20,000 teu ship

Yesterday saw the naming ceremony for the first ever Japanese-built 20,000 teu class containership.

On a clear blue-skied day a high level delegation flocked to Imabari Shipbuilding’s Saijo works to gaze up at the light blue liveried hull of the MOL Truth, the first of two 20,150 teu ships Imabari has been contracted to build. Both ships were ordered by Imabari’s sister company Shoei Kisen Kaisha and are on long-term charter to Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) for deployment on the Asia-Europe tradelanes.

The pair form part of six-ship order MOL signed for a couple of years ago. The other four ships, fully owned by MOL, have been built at South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries. Although all six are 20,150 teu in terms of capacity, and feature the same length (400 m) and load draft (16 m) features, the Japanese ships are 30 cm narrower than their Korean counterparts, with a breadth of 58.5 m.

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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