Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd has clinched a new order for five 10,500 boxships to boost its South American operations. The vessels will be built by Hyundai Samho in South Korea for delivery between October 2016 and May 2017.
No price was given, but TradeWinds reported earlier this month that a letter of intent had been signed, with the cost put at up to 100m dollars each.
Chief operating officer Anthony Firmin said: “This order underlines our leading role in Latin American traffic.”
The owner, which recently merged with Chile’s CSAV, added it will now have the best fleet in place for when the expanded Panama Canal opens next year.
The vessels will come with a highly efficient main engine, an optimized hull shape and an innovative lashing and loading system for greater loading flexibility, it said.
The company is disposing of 16 of its older box-ships as it absorbs seven post-panamax newbuildings, including three of a 9,300-teu series that remain to be delivered this year.
Hapag-Lloyd’s fleet comprises around 147 containerships, including 10 “Hamburg Express”-class vessels of 13,169-teu delivered last year.