New Mega Containership for Hapag-Lloyd

Thursday, February 15, 2007
Hapag-Lloyd has taken delivery of another mega containership with a capacity for 8,750 standard containers, the “Osaka Express”. The vessel was named in Hong Kong and will be deployed between Europe and Far East.

“Over a third of containers carried in global transport is accounted for by China. All forecasts indicate continued stable growth. To be able always to provide adequate ship capacity for our customers in Asia, we have invested massively in recent years and will continue to do so in future,” emphasised Michael Behrendt, chairman of the executive board of Hapag-Lloyd AG, at the naming ceremony in Hong Kong.

The naming was performed in Hong Kong by Catherine Desbois, wife of Gérard Desbois, CEO of JF Hillebrand Group AG. This company has specialised in the transport of wines and champagne as well as top-quality spirits such as cognacs and whiskies and is leading in this segment worldwide. The value of the merchandise carried in a container can thus quickly reach six-figure sums. “The transport volume we’ve handled for Hillebrand Group has risen continuously.

We’re very glad that you can count on a partner like Hapag-Lloyd, which offers a comprehensive liner network, is highly reliable and provides excellent service,” said Hapag-Lloyd executive board member Adolf Adrion in thanking Hillebrand CEO Gérard Desbois for the good teamwork. He added that he was confident that together they could make the most of further scope for growth. The “Osaka Express” is being deployed between Europe and the Far East. The ship is 335 m long and 43 m wide and measures over 60 m from keel to superstructure. Her length and breadth correspond roughly to the dimensions of three football fields. The “Osaka Express” can carry 8,750 standard containers and has 730 reefer plugs for refrigerated containers. She achieves a speed of 25 knots and completes a round voyage between Europe and Asia in 56 days.

Michael Behrendt noted that Hapag-Lloyd has a very traditional link with China. The first regular service between Hamburg and Shanghai, offering two departures a month, was started in 1872. Additional services were offered in subsequent years.

At the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, Hapag provided a steamship service on the Yangtze Kiang between Shanghai and Hankau. North German Lloyd, Hapag-Lloyd’s other original company, contributed with its imperial mail steamer lines to opening up new sales markets in Asia for German foreign trade. Today, Hapag-Lloyd offers 28 weekly services between Asia and Europe and Asia and America, many of them also calling at ports in the People’s Republic of China.

Michael Behrendt: “China remains the locomotive of the world economy, even if growth rates do not remain at the currently high level in the next few years – as desired and aimed at by the government, which wants to avoid the economy overheating with all the negative effects this involves. In any case, China still offers considerable potential thanks to its increasingly advanced industrial base and highly trained workforce. Our liner services are the bridge builders linking China with the rest of the world and support the continued growth of foreign trade.”

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