In the coming years, Maersk Line expects to recycle a larger number of vessels than in previous years as more vessels are coming to their economical end of life. With Maersk Line’s fleet of more than 600 vessels, owned and chartered, any decision to recycle depends on a broad set of variables – not least the state of the market.
In November, Maersk Line and Maersk Transport&Logistics Sustainability selected five ship recycling facilities in China and India for a tender to recycle eight Panamax vessels. All ship recyclers agreed to the A.P. Moller - Maersk Responsible Ship Recycling Standard (RSRS) as a prerequisite to enter the tender.
“These vessels represent roughly 1% of our fleet, so this is a small but meaningful capacity reduction, which will contribute to achieving a better balance between supply and demand for Maersk Line” says Maersk Line COO, Søren Toft.
Adding flexibility to fleet
To secure the best outcome of the sale, A.P. Moller - Maersk furthermore reviews the market development in relation to operational factors such as the vessels’ fuel efficiency, running and maintenance costs.
“The cost of replacing the vessel – hereunder its operational profile, its segment fit and how this segment is covered within the needs of our network – also impacts our considerations as to whether to recycle a vessel. Finally, external factors such as steel price developments and global or regional trade outlooks play a role in our decision making process,” says Peter Lund, Head of Chartering at Maersk Line.
The decision to scrap the 8 vessels was in part driven by an ambition to enhance flexibility in the 4-5,999 TEU network, where 60-65% of the total Maersk Line fleet is owned. Deals for the vessels were struck in early December with two ship recyclers in India and one in China.
In India, four vessels will be recycled by Shree Ram (2) and Y.S. Investments (2). Shree Ram is currently recycling two Maersk Line vessels (plot no. 78), whereas the Panamax vessels will be recycled at a different Shree Ram facility (plot no. V7).