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HMM Nuri slated to transit Suez Canal on maiden voyage

16,000-TEU newbuild currently in China en route to Europe

The HMM Nuri has departed its homeport of Busan, South Korea, en route to Europe via the Suez Canal. (Photo: HMM)

The HMM Nuri, a newbuild with a carrying capacity of 16,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), is making its maiden voyage — a trip that includes two Suez Canal transits.

Although the 20,000-TEU Ever Given was freed from the Suez Canal on Monday, the backlog of ships waiting to transit will take time to clear. More than 320 vessels were reportedly at anchor waiting for the Ever Given, which had been stuck sideways since March 23, to be moved so they could make their way through the 119-mile canal. 

HMM noted in an email to American Shipper on Tuesday that the Nuri is not slated to arrive in Egypt until April 17, “so we expect her to transit the Suez Canal without any delay unless there is any special circumstance.” 

The HMM Nuri, which departed Ningbo, China, on Monday and is due to arrive in Yantian, China, on Wednesday, is scheduled to again transit the canal on May 13 on its return to Asia.

The Nuri is deployed on THE Alliance’s Far East-Europe 4 service, embarking from Busan, South Korea, and sailing to Shanghai; Ningbo; Yantian; Singapore; Suez Canal; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Hamburg, Germany; Antwerp, Belgium; Southampton, England; Suez Canal; Yantian; Hong Kong; Shanghai; and Busan. With port calls and without delays, the entire rotation takes nearly 85 days. 

HMM switched from the 2M space-sharing cooperative to join Hapag-Lloyd, Yang Ming and Ocean Network Express in The Alliance last year.

About 1,200 feet long and more than 167 feet wide, the Nuri is the first of eight HMM-ordered newbuilds with a capacity of 16,000 TEUs. All eight container ships, which are being built at the Ulsan, South Korea, shipyard of Hyundai Heavy Industries, are scheduled to be delivered by the end of the second quarter.

HMM said all eight container ships will be fitted with open-loop scrubber systems embedded with hybrid-ready technology. Selective catalytic reduction technology has been applied to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 80% or more compared to the industry average, according to the South Korean container carrier. 

In addition, all eight vessels will have “a full range of modern container-securing systems to improve operational safety. In particular, the lashing bridges have been designed as a wind-resistant structure that ensures reliable securing of containers from high winds,” HMM said.

Strong winds are being blamed for blowing the Even Given off course in the Suez Canal.

Hailed as smart ships, the new HMM vessels’ operational data will be transmitted to its fleet control center in “real time to have complete visibility over the ships,” the carrier said.  

HMM plans to expand its capacity by about 1 million TEUs by next year. Last year it launched 12 of the world’s largest 24,000-TEU container ships.

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HMM’s 12th 24,000-TEU container ship en route to Rotterdam

Click for more American Shipper/FreightWaves stories by Senior Editor Kim Link-Wills.

Kim Link Wills

Senior Editor Kim Link-Wills has written about everything from agriculture as a reporter for Illinois Agri-News to zoology as editor of the Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine. Her work has garnered awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Magazine Association of the Southeast. Prior to serving as managing editor of American Shipper, Kim spent more than four years with XPO Logistics.