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CMA CGM Orders 22 New Boxships from China Shipbuilding

large containership construction order
(file photo)

Published Apr 30, 2021 2:23 PM by The Maritime Executive

French shipping company CMA CGM Group joined the wave of new containership orders placing a giant 22 ship order with China’s CSSC Group. China Shipbuilding Corporation is heralding it as the largest single containership order the company has undertaken.

In total, the new order will add 223,000 TEU capacity to the French fleet. That represents nearly a 10 percent increase over the company’s current capacity of 2.7 million TEU. CMA CGM reports it currently has a fleet of 566 vessels, including containerships as well as its ro-ro fleet.

The order consists of three classes of ships and continues the group’s commitment to LNG-fueled vessels. Twelve of the new ships will use LNG, six with a capacity of 13,000 TU, and the other six with a capacity of 15,000 TEU. The remaining 10 ships in the order with be VLSO-powered with a capacity of 5,500 TEU.

Neither company placed a value on the order. Due to the size of the order, China Shipbuilding said it will be split between three of the company’s yards, with Jiangnan Shipbuilding building the largest vessels, the 15,000 TEU boxships. The 13,000 TEU vessels will be built by Hudong Zhonghua and 5,500 TEU conventional power ships will be built by Beijing Shipbuilding Industry Corporation. The vessels are scheduled to be delivered in 2023 and 2024.

CSSC reports that its designers developed plans for all three classes of ships. The main engine for the dual-fuel ships will be WinGD from CSSC and will employ the GTT Mark III liquid cargo maintenance system. The 5,500 TEU ships will use a new generation of WinGD main engine from CSSC and be fitted with scrubbers.

CMA CGM said these orders were to accommodate market growth and will add to the company’s existing newbuilding schedule. At the end of 2020, the group reported that it had on order five 23,000 TEU LNG-fueled vessels, of which two currently remain to be delivered, along with two 1,400 TEU vessels, five 15,000 TEU LNG vessels, and five 15,000 TEU conventional fuel vessels with scrubbers.

In February of this year, CMA CGM said that six of its new 15,000 TEU boxships, which are due to enter service between October 2021 and the end of 2022, would be introduced on one of the company’s China to Los Angeles routes. The CMA CGM Group has said it is committed to the use of LNG-fueled vessels as its first step toward achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. By the end of 2022, the line expects to be operating 32 LNG-powered containerships.

CSSC noted that this new order, which was effective immediately, extends its partnership with CMA CGM and that when combined with other orders, the company is now ahead of schedule on its annual targets. They noted that the containership market has rebounded rapidly becoming one of the hottest newbuildng sectors. 

CMA CGM joins Hapag-Lloyd, MSC, ONE, and Seaspan, each of which has also placed significant containership orders at the end of 2020 and in early 2021. Among the major lines, so far, Maersk is the only one that has not reported a new ship order.