LONDON: Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) which is the world second largest shipping company grew its fleet by three per cent in the year 2013 as compared to the world’s biggest container shipping line, Maersk, which grew its capacity only 0.2 per cent last year.
Thus, Maersk Line’s lead over its proposed P3 alliance partner, MSC, is narrowing after the Danish carrier halted its fleet expansion programme last year, opting instead to focus on improving vessel utilisation.
With only 16 more 18,000-TEUers to come, and no new orders, Maersk has a smaller order book than MSC, which operates 445 ships of 2.24 million TEU, against Maersk’s 574 ships of 2.6 million TEU.
Maersk took delivery of four 18,270 TEUers in 2013, plus five other ships designed for the Africa and Latin America trades. Maersk was cited as saying that it has optimised network costs by terminating the lease agreements on 14 chartered ships late last year, including five that have been redelivered and nine to be returned to their owners this quarter.
Its total chartered fleet was reduced by 27 ships in 2013 to one million TEU, representing a year-on-year decrease of eight per cent.