Japan’s second largest container line Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) has confirmed that it has reached agreement to time-charter a series of eight new 14,000TEU ultra-large container vessels. The arrangement is a long-term charter with a Japanese ship owner, but the line did not confirm details of the vessels’ owner.

The series of eight ships are under construction at the Japan Marine United shipyard in Kure, formally known as Ishikawajima Shipbuilding & Engineering, and are due for delivery from February 2016 to January 2018. NYK said the ships would have ‘improved fuel efficiency and cargo loadability’ compared to similar-sized vessels already in service.

NYK is a member of the G6 Alliance, which includes fellow Japanese company Mitsui OSK Line (MOL), Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd, Hong Kong’s Orient Overseas Line (OOCL), South Korea’s Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM), and Singapore Headquartered American President Lines (APL).

NYK’s order leaves MOL as the only member of the G6 not having ordered its own ultra-large tonnage, although ithas a five-year charter agreement for five 14,000TEU vessels from APL. The other partners in the alliance already deploy vessels in this size, with a number still receiving new vessels. Theagreement is NYK’s first new ship order since 2007. AM

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