CP Ships has taken the next step in its major fleet re-building program by signing a contract with China Shipbuilding Corporation of Taiwan for the construction of five geared 3,200 TEU containerships. They are designed to be employed in CP Ships' South American services. Delivery of the newbuildings will take place between mid-2002 and early 2003.
The ships will measure 243 m long by 32.2 m wide, and will be equipped with 400 reefer plugs and operate at a service speed of 22.5 knots. Several containerships built by China Shipbuilding Corp already serve in the CP Ships fleet. With the China Shipbuilding contract, CP Ships has passed the half-way point in a series of retonnaging commitments, which when realized, will increase significantly the proportion of owned and long-term chartered ships in CP Ships' fleet.
"This retonnaging program will reduce ship system costs, improve operating efficiency and expand capacity throughout the group. It will also reduce our exposure to the short-term charter market and reshape our fleet so that it consists of ships suitable for deployment in many of our trades," commented CP Ships CEO Ray Miles. In the past year, CP Ships' fleet investment commitments have included:
* Contract with Daewoo for three x 4100 TEU high reefer content newbuildings for delivery in 2002, to be deployed by Contship Containerlines in its Europe-Australasian trades.
* Acquisition of one 3000-TEU ship from CMA-CGM to be deployed under U.S. flag in Lykes Lines' Gulf Atlantic Sprint service.
* Acquisition of six 3300-TEU used containerships from Yang Ming
for deployment by Americana Ships in 2001.
* Acquisition of two RoRos in ANZDL's Trans Tasman trade.
* Long-term charter of six x 4100-TEU newbuildings being built by Samsung for deployment starting in 2002.
CP Ships has also extended charters on several of its core ships being operated by Contship, Lykes Lines, TMM Lines