On July 4th, 2018, Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp. (Yang Ming) entered into charter agreements with Shoei Kisen Kaisha for five 11,000 TEU containerships and with Costamare for another five 12,000 TEU containerships. The charter agreements were signed by Yang Ming President Vincent Lin, Shoei Kisen Kaisha President Yukito Higaki and Costamare CEO Konstantinos Konstantakopoulos.
All the ten chartered container ships will be newbuilds, due to be delivered from the second quarter of 2020 through the third quarter of 2021. Chartering the newbuilds is aimed to improve daily service operations as well as for long-term development and fleet modernization. In addition, with respect to the enforcement of the upcoming IMO rule in 2020 concerning environmental protection, the vessels are designed in compliance with the regulations calling for efficient bunker consumption. The chartered newbuilds will emit less carbon, use fuel oil containing limited sulfur, and will be equipped with a more efficient ballast water treatment system. Under the circumstances of growing public awareness of environmental issues, the new ships will also enable Yang Ming to be more capable to compete in the container shipping industry.
The design of these new ships will be based on the twin-island concept. Therefore, they will have similar advantage of those main ultra large container ships deployed in current Far East to North Europe services which could accommodate more containers by increasing navigational visibility as well as the permissible height of container stacks on deck, and the cargo loading capacity. Moreover, the ships’ length and beam are shorter than 20,000-TEU, making it easier to maneuver during berthing or departure. With the new dimensions, the ships are subject to no restriction from main calling ports worldwide, are able to pass through new Panama Canal, and make them highly flexible for deployment in foremost long-haul and middle-haul service trade lane.
Yang Ming currently operates a fleet of 106 containerships with a capacity above 600 thousand TEU. In order to reduce its higher operating cost and mitigate environmental impact of these old-type ships, it has an ongoing fleet renewal program to replace older ships upon the expiry of their charter agreements and further review the old, high-fuel-consumption, non-eco fleet. With the new containerships, Yang Ming will significantly optimize its fleet efficiency, enhance its competitiveness, and continue to provide its quality services.