Hapag-Lloyd has announced the company has taken delivery of two 3,500-TEU ships with a special widebeam design from the Dutch shipping company NileDutch. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price of the two vessels, which are expected to be initially deployed in South America. The wide-beam design of the hull means that the ships, which were built in 2015, should maintain a comparatively high slot capacity despite having a lower draught, thereby making them suited for ports with shallow water as for example some South American ports. Hapag-Lloyd has also announced the chartering two more identical ships from NileDutch’s same series, both of which are due to be deployed together with their sister ships.
Anthony J. Firmin, COO of Hapag-Lloyd, said, “For Hapag-Lloyd, these state-of-the-art and highly efficient vessels represent an important enhancement of the fleet.” He added, “Alongside our market leadership in certain trades, such as the Atlantic, we also strengthen our position in an attractive niche market further such as the cabotage business in South America, where we will be initially deploying the new vessels.”
Hapag-Lloyd also announced an additional four wide-beam ships are to be chartered in to the Hapag-Lloyd fleet for services between the Mediterranean and Montreal, Canada. The ships, which are two years old and have an operating capacity of some 2,700 TEU, are due to replace the existing, older tonnage. They expected to be equipped for sailing through ice and also have a comparatively low draught, which Hapag-Lloyd has highlighted as an advantage for travelling on the St. Lawrence River.
Hapag-Lloyd’s fleet currently comprises 177 ships and, at around 7.2 years, has a low, competitive average age.