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To help overcome the shortage of containerships, Cosco Shipping Lines has retrofitted an open-hatch cargo ship belonging to affiliate Cosco Shipping Specialised Carriers.
The 62,000 dwt Cosco Shipping Honor, which originally could carry up to 473 teu, had container slots and locks installed in six cargo holds in Ningbo-Zhoushan port’s Meishan container terminal, to double its container capacity.
Owned by Cosco Shipping Financial, the group’s leasing arm, the vessel was retrofitted just seven months after being built by Cosco Shipping Heavy Industry (Dalian).
Cosco Shipping Honor is one of nine open-hatch cargo ships built to carry paper pulp cargo.
In the near term, the ship will be deployed to carry containers between Ningbo-Zhoushan and Brazil’s Santos port. China United Lines has purchased slots on the vessel and Zim is also participating as a co-loader.
Loaded with 841 teu of containers, Cosco Shipping Honor departed Ningbo-Zhoushan on Sunday, due to arrive in Santos on 23 August.
Due to the substantial difference between fully cellular containerships and its cargo-carrying structure, particularly the lack of container supporting fixtures in the cargo holds, terminal staff had to carry out meticulous container lashing services to secure the boxes.
Drewry’s senior manager (container research), Simon Heaney, told The Loadstar retrofitting vessels offered a temporary solution to the limited supply of containerships.
He said, “It’s a smart move – although I would say these are small numbers and on their own will not alleviate shortages. If the vessels can be converted quickly, the payback will be short, as operators will cash in on the extremely high freight rates.”