Industry sources report that CMA CGM was due to make a decision by the end of July on whether to award a newbuilding contract to either HHI or SWS for six firm vessels of about 22,000 TEU with a 59-metre beam, plus three optional vessels.
The containership giant is understood to have completed its evaluation of the business - described by one broker specialist as "the target newbuilding project out there".
But with France's holiday season getting underway this week, those following the business closely report that communications from CMA CGM have fallen silent.
Apart from the key shipyard choice on what would be the largest boxships built to date, the wider industry is also on tenterhooks to learn whether the liner giant will opt for LNG fuelling for its next-generation giants.
"If they do [go for LNG fuelling], you can be sure the rest will follow," one equipment supplier said, according to TradeWinds of Oslo.
Newbuilding specialists say the additional cost involved with the initial outlay on LNG fuelling is at the crux of the propulsion choice.
CMA CGM is understood to have an exclusive agreement with energy major Total, which is offering to supply LNG as bunkers if the boxship company takes this route. But gas fuelling could hike the $150 million-to-$160 million-per-ship price by about $20million.
In contrast, the shipowner could choose to fit exhaust-gas scrubbers to its vessels for somewhere in the region of $5 million per ship.
Newbuilding market players say they genuinely have no idea which way CMA CGM will jump on the yard and fuelling choices, with one putting it at a clear 50:50 bet this week.
CMA CGM's participation in the Ocean Alliance boxship grouping, in which Chinese giant Cosco Shipping is a key member along with Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) and Evergreen, ishighlighted by others as another factor that could nudge the business towards SWS.