Maersk Line, Ltd has completed a recapitalization of its U.S. flag container fleet. The effort involved an investment of nearly $400m for the purchase and reflagging of nine ships into the U.S. registry. In keeping with its commitment to provide world-class U.S. flag transportation services, MLL's recapitalization plan called for the company to remove nine older, smaller ships from its U.S. fleet and replace them with larger, faster and more modern U.S. flag tonnage. All nine of the reflagged ships are enrolled in the Maritime Security Program.
"This additional capacity and capability, paired with the optimization and expansion of our U.S. flag network will enable us to provide even more reliable, timely and flexible service to our government customers," said Bill Kenwell, MLL's Chief Commercial Officer.
The ships joining MLL's fleet will be deployed on the MECL 1, MECL 2 and Trans-Atlantic services and include: Maersk Kentucky, Maersk Idaho, Maersk Utah, Maersk Wisconsin, Maersk Wyoming, Sealand Champion, Sealand Eagle, Sealand Mercury and Sealand Racer. These ships feature an average capacity of more than 4000 TEU and an average age of just 10 years, while the nine ships they replace had an average capacity of only 3400 TEU and an average age of 23 years.
MLL's Technical Organization and its Maritime Technical Services business unit, which develops and applies advanced operating, maintenance and lifecycle strategies for maritime customers, are managing the sale and recycling of the nine older U.S. flag ships.
"Moving a total of 18 vessels into and out of the U.S. fleet is a complex challenge," said Bob Bowers, MLL's Senior Director of Maritime Technical Services, "but our close working relationship with the U.S. Coast Guard, the class societies and other regulatory agencies allows us to keep the project on schedule and minimize downtime for the ships."
Ships being removed from MLL's U.S. flag fleet include: Maersk Arizona, Sealand Achiever, Sealand Atlantic, Sealand Commitment, Sealand Florida, Sealand Motivator, Sealand Performance, Sealand Pride and Sealand Quality. All ships selected for recycling will be recycled using environmentally sound practices in accordance with the A.P.
Moller-Maersk commitment to environmental stewardship and social responsibility. In addition, the size and efficiency of the newer ships will result in reduced fuel consumption and emissions, both of which are key components of the Maersk environmental strategy.