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Qingdao Beihai becomes the go-to yard for boxship jumboisation

Chinese state run Qingdao Beihai Shipbuilding Heavy Industry (BSIC) is rapidly building up a new revenue base as the go-to yard for vessel jumboisation.

MSC has recently signed with the northern Chinese yard to lengthen eleven 14,000 teu ships into 17,000 teu units with more likely to follow. CMA CGM has also signed a letter of intent to lengthen five of the carrier’s 13,800 teu ships with another five on option.

BSIC was also the shipyard that carried out the majority of Maersk’s recent fleet upgrade and lifetime extension scheme, Alphaliner reported in its most recent weekly report.

“Under this program, which ran from 2011 to 2016, Maersk upgraded 53 container vessels through – among other changes – raising wheelhouses and heightening lashing bridges. Unlike the MSC and CMA CGM programs, the Maersk ‘capacity boost’ project did not resort to lengthening the ships,” Alphaliner noted.

Maersk’s capacity boost expanded the carrier’s fleet capacity by 72,600 teu, while MSC and CMA CGM’s plans will see their fleets grow by a combined 60,000 teu, according to Alphaliner data.

Lenghthening of boxships was last popular in the 1970s and 1980s.

BSIC belongs to China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) and is involved in shipbuilding as well as this recent new spurt of jumboisation business.

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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