South Korean shipping company HMM has taken delivery of the final 24,000 TEU containership newbuild of a total of 12 ordered two years ago.
These are the largest container ships in the world based on their carrying capacity.
HMM St Petersburg was built by Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) and delivered on September 11.
The colossal vessel joints its sister ships HMM Algeciras, HMM Copenhagen, HMM Dublin, HMM Oslo, HMM Gdansk, HMM Hamburg, HMM Helsinki, HMM Le Havre, HMM Rotterdam, HMM Southampton, and HMM Stockholm.
SHI has built five vessels from the batch, while its compatriot Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) has constructed the remaining 7 from the series.
All twelve containerships have been deployed in the Asia-Europe route.
- Capacity 23,964 TEU
- Length: 399.9m
- Width: 61.0m
- Depth: 33.2m
- Speed: 22.4 knots
All 12 vessels have been fitted with scrubbers, and feature an optimized hull design and energy-efficient engines.
The 24K-class containerships play an important role in HMM’s long term goal to achieve net-zero emissions across its vessel fleet by 2050.
Namely, HMM wants to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 compared to 2008 levels and thereby reach carbon neutrality by 2050 for its entire fleet.
The liner major believes the sea giants can deliver economies of scale as they are highly efficient and have a low-cost structure.
However, the Korean liner has seen some challenges in filling up its containerships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy and trade.
Nevertheless, like many of its counterparts, HMM turned a profit based on the cooperation with THE Alliance and the deployment of 24,000 TEU-class containerships since April 2020.
Q2 2020 net profit reached KRW 28.1 billion, improved by KRW 228.8 billion year-on-year (YoY).
Operating profit for both container and bulk business turned to black, mainly led by rationalization of service routes, cost reduction, and increased freight rates.
This is despite a 20,9 % decrease in container handling volumes in H1 2020 (- 469,000 TEUs) YoY to 1,779,000 TEU as a result of the COVID-19 impact.
The addition of the super-sized sea giants to the company’s fleet has pushed HMM’s total fleet volume to over 700,000 TEU.
Hence, the company has claimed the 8th place in the global ranking of liner shipping companies based on their fleet size.
The South Korean shipping heavyweight expects to take delivery of eight more 16,000 TEU containerships from Hyundai Heavy Industries in the first half of 2021.
With the delivery of these ships, HMM’s fleet will break the 850,000 TEU mark as the company pushes forward to achieve its 1 million TEU by 2022 goal.
HMM expects the market outlook to remain uncertain as coronavirus can re-emerge for the upcoming winter season.
Growing geopolitical tensions between the US and China as well as the growing competition among carriers in Intra-Asia and oversupply of capacity are also expected to contribute to the challenges ahead.