Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has taken delivery of the last in a series of eight neo-panamax ULCS built by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in Korea. The series was ordered in 2007 by Nordcapital, the fund-raising company of ER Schiffahrt.
The 13,092TEU vessel joined the fleet of the newly formed Blue Star Holding as ER Margrit, after originally being called ER Castor. All eight sisterships were initially secured for 15 years by Geneva based MSC in 2008, with subsequent deals separately involving MSC and SinOceanic as purchasers.
Shortly after delivery, MSC then sublet the vessel to its joint operating partner CMA CGM, which then renamed the vessel CMA CGM Margrit and deployed her on its FAL 1 service, which is operated in conjunction with MSC and UASC. Although this was a surprise, it makes sense, as MSC might be having trouble deploying this size vessel, as both their Silk and Lion Far East service’s already deploy a total of 23 13,000TEU vessels, whereas CMA CGM currently deploys only five 13,000TEU vessels on its FAL 1 service. CMA CGM is currently awaiting delivery of the first 16,000TEU vessel, CMA CGM Marco Polo, which will replace a smaller 11,000TEU vessel when she arrives in mid-October. CMA CGM Margrit made her maiden call at Southampton on 13August and then sailed for Hamburg the following day.