Hydrogen Hybrid Container Ships

January 2021

In December, German shipping colossus Hapag-Lloyd placed a EUR 6 billion order for six ultra large container vessels (UCLVs) from South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering. The massive ships are the equivalent of four football fields long and can transport over 23,000 containers.

But the vessels aren’t just notable for their size and expense. They also represent ecological progress since they can run on hydrogen as well conventional maritime fuels. Hapag Lloyd, which has a yearly turnover of EUR 12.6 billion and operates 234 ships, had refrained from such investments in recent years.

Company chairman Rolf Habben Jansen called the purchase “a significant step in the modernization of our fleet.”

China’s faster than expected recovery from the economic damage wrought by the coronavirus pandemic has meant lots of work for global shipping companies.

“We’ve reactivated all our decommissioned ships,” Jansen told business journalists at Franfurt’s International Club. “At the moment, everything seaworthy in container shipping is in use. Every single ship is sailing.”

The biggest container ship of the world, made by Daewoo © Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering