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Drewry: Inflexible mega-ships strain carriers' creativity

Cosco's order for a series of ultra-large container vessels illustrate the increased pace in orders for ULCVs, more of which are likely to be announced in the coming months.

Just as it was never a good feeling to be picked last for schoolyard football games, container carriers are worried about falling behind in the race to secure ultra-large container vessels, so-called ULCVs.

Last week China Cosco confirmed that the carrier had also placed a billion dollar order at Chinese shipyards for 11 container vessels of around 19,000 teu apiece, and by today's count nine carriers either have ULCVs in their fleets, like Maersk Line and French CMA CGM, or are set to take delivery of the giant vessels in the coming years. This situation requires quite a lot of creativity from the carriers going forward, notes analyst agency Drewry in a new analysis. We will return to this fact later.

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