OOCL has christened the sixth and last in its latest series of 21,413 TEU containerships at the Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) shipyard on Geoje island.
Named by Sponsors Mrs. Shirley Peng and Mrs. Mary Liu as the OOCL Indonesia, she will begin her maiden voyage this month and join her other five sister vessels on OOCL’s Asia-North Europe Loop 1 (LL1) trade lane.
“The flexibility provided in our newbuilding program is one of the crucial elements to how we can better manage our fleet and operations in such a dynamic and challenging industry,” said Mr. Andy Tung, Chief Executive of OOCL, at the ceremony when thanking the shipyard for their dedication and support. “Not only was the time factor a challenge, but the actual engineering feat in building the world’s largest containerships for the first time within the given period while incorporating the best and latest innovation and technologies is a monumental project not to be underestimated.
OOCL’s partnership with SHI began in 1995 when they built the first 4,960 TEU containership, named OOCL Hong Kong, at the shipyard. In the following years, they collaborated on more than fifty new building projects. OOCL and SHI made history together by building the OOCL Shenzhen (at 8,063 TEU) in 2003 and the OOCL Hong Kong (at 21,413 TEU) last year that broke record titles as the world’s largest containership by carrying capacity.
In his ceremonial address, Mr. Tung expressed that the celebration also marked a wonderful start to the new year in 2018 as the industry is seeing a much healthier global economic environment not seen in many years since the 2009 financial crisis, and that various governments around the world are continuing to fuel the growth momentum with policy agendas to boost trade and economic cooperation.
“In addition to China’s leadership in the One Belt One Road Initiative to help bring markets closer together and opening new opportunities for trade, another policy agenda closer to home is the signing of the Hong Kong-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement just last November,” said Mr. Tung.
“Once ratified, the new FTA arrangements will not only open opportunities for trade growth, but also facilitate more effective and efficient trade links through the elimination of import duties and streamlining of regulations that would inevitably help improve supply chain flow over the long run. In our industry, speed is of essence and we are very excited to see these kinds of policy directions pushing forward.”