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American Shipper

China Shipping expands, adds ships

China Shipping expands, adds ships

   China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL), the world’s 10th-largest container shipping line, said it will take delivery of another four 8,500-TEU containerships this year, as well as eight new vessels of 9,200-TEU capacities in the next few years, to double its fleet size by 2007.

   The fast-growing Chinese carrier aims to expand its fleet from about 198,000 TEUs at the end of 2003 to about 450,000 TEUs in 2007.

   In mid-July, CSCL phased in its first 8,500-TEU containership, the “CSCL Asia,” as part of its transpacific “AAS1” service. The carrier described the 99,500-deadweight-ton vessel as the “world’s largest container ship” — a claim that will certainly be disputed by other shipping lines. The “CSCL Asia” is the first of five sisterships of about 8,500 TEUs due to be added to the Chinese carrier’s fleet this year.

   China Shipping’s eight new 9,200-TEU vessels are scheduled to be delivered by the Samsung shipyard in 2006 and 2007.

   “The large-size ships possess the advantages of rapid speed, high efficient, low volume to consume gas … which will provide powerful momentum resources for CSCL to expand the future business,” the carrier said in a statement.

   In a separate development, Li Kelin, chairman of CSCL, met Tung Chee-Hwa, the chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, in Tung’s office July 14. Tung is also the brother of C.C. Tung, the chairman of the Hong Kong-based shipping group Orient Overseas (International) Ltd.

   China Shipping reported that Tung congratulated CSCL for its successful stock market listing in June in Hong Kong, and for the first sailing of the “CSCL Asia” Hong Kong in July. The new 8,500-TEU vessel is scheduled to make its first U.S. call in Long Beach Saturday.

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