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South Korea’s remaining deepsea container shipping line, Hyundai Merchant Marine, is to join the ranks of carriers operating the largest class of vessels.

Today the carrier selected the shipbuilders, and plans to sign letters of intent in a week or so.

The imminent firm order is part of HMM’s strategy to build its fleet capacity to 1m teu.

HMM said it had signed an agreement to order five 23,000 teu vessels from Samsung Heavy Industries and seven similar-sized ships from DSME.

At the same time, it has also agreed to order eight 14,000 teu vessels from compatriot shipbuilder Hayundai Heavy Industries.

The 23,000 teu vessels are expected to be delivered from the second quarter of 2020 onwards, and the 14,000 teu ships from the second quarter of 2021.

Prices have yet to be fixed for the ships, the line said, but will be before it reaches final agreement with the yards.

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