Rickmers Group, Singapore, held a quadruple naming ceremony at HHI’s Ulsan shipyard this morning for four ultra-large container ships. The Maersk Edinburgh is the first Rickmers Group ULCS that will enter service with charterer Maersk.
Each of the four ships, Pearl Rickmers, Ruby Rickmers, Aqua Rickmers and Coconee Rickmers have been chartered longterm to Maersk Line and will join Maersk’s “E-class” as Maersk Edinburgh, Maersk Emden, Maersk Eindhoven and Maersk Essen.
The ships will be delivered one by one during July and August 2010, and phase in to Maersk’s new joint service with CMA CGM linking Asia and North Europe.
A further four sister ships are due for delivery to the Rickmers Group in 2011, also for charter to Maersk Line. All have been fixed for 10-year periods with further options.
“With volumes out of Asia again starting to rise and rates holding, container lines’ confidence is growing. Given this scenario, the timing of the delivery of these Rickmers Group ships is looking much better than it might have done six to twelve months ago,” said Bertram R C Rickmers, Chairman of Rickmers Holding.
“With two more sister ships coming in January and February 2011, a seventh at the end of May and the eighth and final ship in the series due for delivery in July 2011, we need the global economy to continue this positive trend. We wish our charterers Maersk Line well in their efforts to maintain a stable market. Too often we have seen container rates tumble despite strong volumes. No one needs this to happen again, even the shippers who provide the cargo.”
The ships will be managed by Rickmers Shipmanagement the Rickmers Group’s shipmanagement unit set up in Singapore to manage the fleets of shipping trust Rickmers Maritime and Rickmers Group shipowner Polaris Shipmanagement Company as well as third party vessels.