Rickmers Shanghai, the fourth of nine new Superflex Heavy MPC (multi-purpose container carrier) vessels being built in China for Rickmers-Linie, the Hamburg-based global project liner and heavy lift specialist, was delivered by the shipyard in Shanghai on 5 March 2003. The first three vessels in the series, Rickmers Hamburg, Rickmers Tokyo and Rickmers Singapore were delivered in June and December 2002, and January 2003 respectively. Rickmers Shanghai has joined the company’s Round-the-World (RTW) service which will later develop into the Round-the-World Pearl String Service, due to be inaugurated next month when more of the nine-ship series become available. The Pearl String Service will run on a fortnightly basis with shorter transit times and a much stricter adherence to sailing schedules. This is a major challenge when catering for project shipments that often involve complex loading programmes and special calls at ports not normally featured on the schedule.