China's shipping and ports giant China Cosco Holdings is planning to order at least 10 Triple-E megaships capable of moving 19,000 containers apiece as the shipping and port giant seeks to dominate major ocean trade routes, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed sources.
The vessels will be ordered from a Chinese yard and cost around US$1.4 billion in total. When fully loaded, Triple-E's can cut the cost of moving a container across the oceans by around 25% in an industry that carries about 95% of the world's manufactured goods.
The ships are intended to be deployed in the Asia-to-Europe trade loop. The announcement comes on the back of several 20,000 TEU containership orders placed by shipping majors over the recent period as they up the ante in container trade.
Sources said that Cosco had so far been reluctant to follow bigger competitors—including the Maersk Line unit of Denmark’s A.P. Møller-Mærsk A/S, and Swiss-based Mediterranean Shipping Co.—that already have a number of such behemoths in their fleet.
Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. has ordered six 20, 000 TEU containerships whereas the French liner company CMA CGM has ordered three 20,600 TEU boxships at Hanjin Heavy Industries.
Fully loaded, Triple-E’s cut the cost of moving a container across the oceans by around 25%, and industry executives say smaller operators that can’t afford to buy them will increasingly lose market share on the biggest trade routes.