The second of United Arab Shipping Company’s (UASC) six ordered 18,800 TEU capacity Ultra-Large Container Ships (ULCS), the LNG-ready Al Muraykh, called APM Terminals Zeebrugge on Friday on its maiden voyage to Europe.
Part of the UASC’s Asia/Europe Container Service 1 route (AEC1), these vessels are the largest ones to be able to operate powered by either liquefied natural gas (LNG) or conventional heavy fuel oil. They are also the first to have received DNV GL certification of compliance with the latest LNG regulations.
“United Arab Shipping Company is setting a new world standard in environmental performance for liner services, as well as fleet growth, and we are very proud to be a part of this historic process,” said APM Terminals Zeebrugge Managing Director, Carla Debart.
Currently the world’s 15th-largest shipping line, with a fleet of 56 vessels representing an overall capacity of 482,617 TEUs, UASC has embarked on a program of expansion which includes pending deliveries of 4 x 18,800 and 6 x 15,000 TEU-sized vessels, which will add approximately another 170,000 TEUs, increasing the company’s fleet capacity by 35%.
As of September 1, there were 31 vessels of 18,000 TEU capacity or above in service in the global container fleet, with 72 more awaiting delivery.