Saturday, 18 January 2014

Getting to Know The Members of Maersk Line's Triple E Fleet

E for E-Gads, these ships are big!  The Maersk Line’s Triple E Fleet, the largest container ships afloat, are a sight to see.  Designed and built to replace the aging Maersk E-Class, the Majestic Maersk, Marie Maersk, Mary Maersk, Madison Maersk and Moller Maersk, get their monikers from being touted as:

  • Economy of Scale,
  • Energy Efficient and 
  • Environmentally Improved.

At a cost of $190 million per ship, E also stands for expensive. In February 2011, Maersk Line inked a deal to order ten ships from Daewoo Shipbuilders and Marine Engineering, in a deal that cost the container shipping giant $1.9 billion. Since that time, the company has authorized the construction of an additional ten vessels.  The total value of the contract, including the option, is $5.7 billion. At present there are five Maersk Triple E's operating on a limited number of international trade routes. With such a huge commitment to a new, more efficient direction, Maersk is counting on consolidating its Europe-Asia fleet (of more than 100 ships) with the five Triple E’s already afloat, ensuring themselves the opportunity to service the growing demand for Chinese goods.

maersk line triple e container shipping vessel
The Maersk McKinley Moller and Majestic Maersk launched in July, 2013. Mary Maersk, Marie Maersk and Madison Maersk were launched August, September and October 2013, respectively.  Each vessel is designed to match the others, both in size and cargo capacity, which is an unbelievable 18,000, 20 foot shipping containers. Being able to staff and manage ships of this size requires a minimum of 13 crew members, but typically operate with 19 to 22 aboard. However, if necessary, the ships can each accommodate as many as 34 people, including Captain and staff.

In addition to Maersk and Daewoo, China Shipping Container Lines Co., Hyundai Heavy Industries and United Arab Shipping Company all placed orders for ships with various shipbuilders, as well.  This is an indication that the container shipping market is quite strong, and gives analysts a good reason to believe it will remain so, for many decades to come.  With that being said, if a portion of a investor's portfolio was dedicated to this non-traditional investment type, the long-term outlook appears to be relatively low risk and likely to profit from continued economic growth; all around the world.

Interestingly, Maersk and the Discovery Channel® have teamed up to offer a glimpse into the building of the largest ships in Maersk's fleet, and can be viewed here. In all, there are six episodes available.

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