French container shipping company the CMA CGM Group announced on Friday it has ordered 22 vessels from Chinese shipyard CSSC Group expected to be delivered in 2023 and 2024. The value of the order was not disclosed.
The shipbuilding contract, which comes amid strong market growth in the container shipping sector, includes 12 ships powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and 10 to run on very low sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO), CMA CGM said. Six of the LNG-fueled box ships will be 13,000 TEU capacity, and the other six will be 15,000 TEU. The VLSFO-powered ships will be 5,500 TEU capacity.
The privately controlled CMA CGM said last month that it expects container shipping activity to hold strong for at least the the first half of this year after brisk demand for consumer goods boosted its profits at the end of last year. The company said it would continue to expand ship capacity and vessel calls to meet the high demand.
The sector has recovered sharply following its initial slowdown caused by the start of the coronavirus pandemic, with online shopping contributing to a flurry of freight orders. Strong consumer demand coupled with logistical constraints due to the pandemic has led to a shortage of containers, congestion at ports and rising shipping rates