The HMM Algeciras introduced in April 2020 is currently considered to be the world's largest containership with a nominal capacity of nearly 24,000 TEU, although her largest load to date was just under 20,000 TEU.
The vessels will have a capacity greater than 24,000 TEU, which would mean their maximum load would be 20 per cent larger than the current largest vessels in the network.
Japanese-owned but Singapore-based ONE signed the agreement with Shoei Kisen Kaisha, a ship leasing business owned by Imabari Shipbuilding Co, for a total of six of the ultra large boxships planned for delivery in 2023 and 2024.
The new ships will be built by a consortium of Imabari Shipbuilding and Japan Marine United Corporation. They will operate under a 15-year charter to the network.
'This new class of ships will join our core fleet and forms part of our ongoing strategy to introduce large, modern, and fuel-efficient vessels to further strengthen our fleet competitiveness,' ONE said in announcing the agreement.
Currently, the largest ships operating for ONE is Mitusi OSK Lines' Triumph class built in 2017 and 2018. That class of six ships is 210,000 dwt with a capacity of 20,000 TEU.
ONE's announcement followed a similar announcement from Hapag-Lloyd which reported that it has also ordered six ultra large containerships. Hapag confirmed that it has signed an order with the Korean shipyard Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) valued at US$1 billion for vessels that would each have a capacity of more than 23,500 TEU.