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Evergreen Orders Three More ULCVs as Containership Orderbook Grows

containership shipbuilding orders
23,992 TEU capacity Ever Ace arriving in Taiwan on its maiden voayge in 2021 (Taiwan Ports Corporation)

Published Mar 17, 2022 6:57 PM by The Maritime Executive

The race to build more containerships is continuing with no letup seen in the construction orders early in 2022. In 2021, the shipping companies drove a strong rebound in shipbuilding with a dramatic increase in containership construction orders. 

Evergreen confirmed that it is continuing its fleet expansion and modernization efforts becoming the latest carrier to place additional orders for ultra-large containerships. The company currently has 12 ultra-large containerships with a capacity of approximately 24,000 TEU on order. China’s Hudong Zhonghua Shipbuilding, a division of CSSC, floated the line's largest ULCVs at the end of 2021. The launch followed by August 2021 introduction of the Ever Ace, which was the largest containership in the world. 

Evergreen is now expanding the order with three additional 24,000 TEU ULCVs also to be built by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding. The new orders are part of the company’s aggressive expansion plans which makes up the second-largest orderbook according to Alphaliner. 

With the latest order, Evergreen now has 64 containerships under construction for delivery by 2025. According to Alphaliner, it represents 40 percent of the company’s current capacity of 1.5 million TEU with more than 600,000 TEU on order, although some of the vessels will replace existing capacity.

Other major carriers are also rumored to be in the market for additional orders. Both MSC and CMA CGM have been linked to forthcoming orders, with CMA CGM recently telling shareholders that plans called for investing up to half their current profits into further construction. The French carrier confirmed that it recently increased its order with South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries to a total of 10 smaller boxships each with a capacity of 7,300 TEU.

The smaller size containerships are possibly the fastest-growing segment in shipbuilding as the carriers work to build out their hub and spokes strategy. This category is also highly versatile and in great demand from a broad range of carriers.

Eastern Pacific confirmed that it has also placed an order for six 2,900 TEU containerships to be built at Fujian Mawei Shipbuilding with an option for four additional vessels. These new vessels will be about 36,380 dwt with an overall length of 610 feet and using green technologies. This order expands the shipyard’s already active orderbook for this size of feeder ship. Mawei reports that it currently has over 30 vessels on order between 1,100 and 3,700 TEU.

This month alone, orders for smaller containerships have come for multiple carriers including Denmark’s Celsius which will build two methanol-ready feeder containerships at Penglai Jinglu Ship Industry in China. China United Lines (CULines) ordered two 7,000 TEU boxships from Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding while China Shipbuilding reported that Thai ship owner RCL (Regional Container Lines) signed a contract for the construction of two 7,000 TEU containerships.