On 28 October 2022 China’s COSCO Shipping Holdings confirmed it is planning a major ship expansion programme having signed orders for 12 new 24,000 TEU containerships.

The vessels will be methanol dual-fuel powered, designed to support its long-term growth strategy and transition to green shipping. The new orders are valued at $239.85 million per ship for a total of just under $2.9 billion.

The new vessels will be built in two tranches, with five coming from Dalian Cosco KHI Ship Engineering (DACKS), a joint venture shipyard with Kawasaki Heavy Industries.

The ultra-large vessels will be delivered between February 2027 and June 2028 for operation by the COSCO branded shipping line.

The second set of seven vessels will be built by Nantong Cosco KHI Ship Engineering (NACKS), the company’s other joint venture shipyard with Kawasaki.

Those vessels are expected to be delivered between the third quarter of 2026 and the third quarter of 2028. They are being assigned to Orient Overseas International Limited, the company’s Hong Kong-based shipping company.

COSCO has 34 new vessels already on order with a total capacity of 580,000TEU. This new order provides an addition of 288,000TEU.

COSCO is ranked as the world’s fourth largest carrier by capacity with a total of nearly 2.9 million TEU of capacity between its COSCO line as well as Orient Overseas and smaller operations according to Alphaliner.

The current fleet is reported to be a total of 467 vessels. COSCO acquired Orient Overseas in 2018 to dramatically increase its market share and management has said its goal is to continue to grow to become the largest carrier.

MSC remains the industry’s current leader with over 4.5 million TEU of capacity and its own ongoing expansion effort.


Photo caption = Cosco Shipping Container’Cscl Atlantic Ocean’ has been pulled into position by tugs Svitzer’s Sky, Kent & Deben  at Felixstowe into Berth 9 having arrived from Singapore. Photo bi Paul Biggs

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