Maersk has initiated a project to enhance the container capacity of its fleet by upgrading its DSME-built 18,340 TEU ‘EEE-MK-I’ class ships. This project, which started in May, aims to increase the capacity of each ship by 736 TEU, equivalent to a 4% expansion.
The upgrades primarily involve adding an extra tier of containers on the deck in 15 of the ships’ bays located aft of the deck houses. Limited space for additional tiers exists forward of the bridge. To address this, Maersk has raised most of the ship’s lashing bridges by one full tier and added double ‘Mickey Mouse Ears’ to the outer rows.
The upgrade project coincides with the ‘EEE-MK-I’ vessels’ ten-year class dry-docking schedule. The first ship to undergo these modifications was the 2013-built MAERSK McKINNEY MOLLER. Which, after spending five weeks in drydock at China’s Qingdao Beihai Shipyard in May and June, now boasts a nominal capacity of 19,076 TEU.
Subsequently, the MAJESTIC MAERSK, MARY MAERSK, MARIE MAERSK, and MADISON MAERSK received their upgrades at Qingdao Beihai and Zhoushan Xinya Shipyard. Industry experts, including Alphaliner, anticipate similar upgrades for all twenty ‘EEE-MK-I’ class ships during 2023 and 2024.
It is essential to note that these ships had previously undergone conversions when scrubbers were installed. Maersk’s ‘EEE’ sister ships, constructed by DSME (now: Hanwha Ocean) between 2014 and 2015, are considered the world’s first ‘megamax’ ships. These vessels are distinctive for their twin-engine, twin-rudder, and twin-propeller setup, providing a high level of propulsion redundancy.
Maersk’s commitment to innovation and capacity expansion reflects its prominent position in the container shipping industry. Thus, continues to adapt to changing demands and maintain its competitive edge.
Sources: Maersk, Alphaliner