Maersk orders 18 new container ships

AP Moller-Maersk has signed an agreement with Hyundai Heavy Industries for the delivery of eighteen 4,500 TEU container vessels in 2011 and 2012.

The ships are designed to meet the highest demands for safety and economy. Each vessel is equipped with a waste heat recovery system, which reuses excess heat from the exhaust to generate energy for propulsion of the vessel or on-board electricity consumption. It is the first time that an Asian yard will install a waste heat recovery system of this size and efficiency.

Senior vice president Michel Deleuran, Maersk Line's head of network & product, said that these vessels are part of Maersk's fleet renewal and development program, which will enable the carrier to continue to offer competitive container shipping based on a modern, economical, and environmentally friendly fleet.

Maersk Line expects to deploy the new vessels in the trades to and from Sub-Saharan Africa.

According to Deleuran, Maersk has served the Sub-Saharan African market for more than forty years, and aims to continue to develop services in the trades between Sub-Saharan Africa and the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, the average export growth is currently 7% and average import growth 11% per year.  Since 2002, export and import volumes have almost doubled.

Today, Maersk Line has a 25% market share in Sub-Saharan Africa and own offices in 35 countries in the region.