CP Ships Limited announced
the first two of nine 4250 teu ships ordered two years ago will be
deployed in its US East Coast-Indian Sub-Continent service.
They will be named after two of India's most popular national parks,
Kanha and Corbett. And, following the new CP Ships vessel naming convention,
the names will be prefixed by "CP."
Delivery of CP Kanha is expected in mid-October 2005, with CP Corbett
coming in early January 2006. They will replace smaller, slower and more
costly short-term chartered ships.
"We have been looking forward to the first of our new ships. They give us
the opportunity to confirm to customers our commitment to this service,
improve transit times, leave room for growth and enable us to operate the
service more efficiently. Because of the dramatic rise in charter prices since
these ships were ordered, we have no doubt that we made the right decision in
2003," said Juan Manuel Gonzalez, Executive Vice President.
All nine ships are being long-term chartered from Seaspan Container Lines
and are currently under construction at Samsung Heavy Industries (010140.KS)
in Korea. The
remaining seven are on schedule with one each to be delivered in first, second
and third quarters 2006, two in fourth quarter 2006, one in first quarter 2007
and one in second quarter 2007. Their deployment has not yet been finalized.
CP Ships already has 11 similarly sized ships in its fleet, bringing the
total to 21 by April 2007.
"These ships, ideally suited for our regional services, will be the
workhorses of our fleet. Having a substantial fleet of similar-sized ships
will give us considerable flexibility to take advantage of opportunities as
they arise because of changes in trade demand," Mr Gonzalez added.
CP Ships operates the US East Coast-India Sub-Continent service as part
of a vessel sharing agreement with two other carriers. The frequency is weekly
and port rotation is New York, Norfolk, Charleston, Port Said, Suez Canal,
Colombo, Nhava Sheva, Suez Canal, New York.
The service is currently marketed under the Contship Containerlines and
Lykes Lines brands and will be offered under the CP Ships name when CP Ships
completes its adoption of a single brand.