EVERGREEN GROUP CONSIDERS 30-SHIP ORDER
The Taiwanese shipping group Evergreen is considering ordering 30 containerships for delivery in and after 2004, Chang Yung-fa, founder and chairman of Evergreen, told the Japanese newspaper Kaiji.
The plan includes orders of 20 ships of a new “S-type” of 4,200-TEU post-Panamax vessels, and repeat orders of two types of existing ships, the 5,364-TEU “U-type” and 6,332-TEU “E-type.”
Chang has mentioned long-term plans to build 20 “S-class” ships at least since 1999. Talking openly about long-term shipbuilding plans, Chang has suggested that the 4,200-TEU ships would be used in shuttle services calling at few ports, rather than in services using very large vessels that carry a large proportion of transshipment cargoes.
Until now, Evergreen has built mainhaul vessels of ever-increasing capacity. It will take delivery of the last two in a series of 5 “E-type” post-Panamax vessels of 6,332-TEU capacity in October of this year and January of 2003.
A spokesman for Evergreen said that the vessel orders mentioned by Chang are part of a fleet renewal program, as 26 Evergreen ships built before 1985 will be withdrawn in the medium term. The 30-ship order is likely to be placed in successive batches, with deliveries spread over several years, the spokesman added.
If the orders are confirmed, they will add to a recent wave of ship orders placed by CMA CGM, Zim Israel Navigation Co. and Yang Ming Marine. All three carriers have returned to the shipbuilding market, and ordered large containerships that will be delivered in 2004.