The Hamburg-based shipping liner had widely been tipped earlier this year to join MSC, CMA CGM and HMM in ordering six giant box ships but CEO Rolf Habben Jansen has now put the order rumours on the back burner adding that the plans are now on hold.
'We will need the big ships sooner or later, but no one should expect such an order in the coming weeks,' Mr Jansen said.
Hapag-Lloyd, currently with zero ships on order, is the world's fifth largest liner with 1.7 million slots in its fleet.
This year is now expected to see the sharpest contraction in global seaborne container trade on record according to the world's largest broker, Clarksons Platou, who issued a sobering box report recently.
The massive volume of blanked sailings announced in recent weeks is set to create new records in terms of the inactive containership fleet, which analysts at Alphaliner are now saying will breach the 3 million TEU mark for the first time meaning some 13 per cent of the entire global box fleet will be out of work.
Mr Jansen said he expects blanked sailings by his company and other members of THE Alliance to continue into the third quarter, reports Singapore's Splash 247.