Ocean Network Express (ONE) has become the latest containership line to begin operations of a “megamax” containership exceeding the 24,000 TEU threshold. With a carrying capacity 20 percent larger than the previously largest ships in its fleet, ONE joins Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) as the first carriers to operate the new largest class of boxships.
Built by Imabari Shipbuilding in Japan, the ONE Innovation is the first of six ultra-large containerships ordered for the fleet in December 2020 as part of ONE’s next phase of growth. The company was established in 2017 as the integration of the containership operations of Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (“K” LINE), Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), and Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK). Discussing the company’s strategy in 2022, CEO Jeremy Nixon highlighted that they would be expanding capacity and would be building ships.
The shipyard and the line are highlighting the advanced designs of the new class of ships providing the ability to bring increased economies of scale to the operation while lowering energy use and emissions. The ONE Innovation has a carry capacity rating of 24,136 TEU, making it marginally smaller than OOCL’s class at 24,188 TEU and MSC’s largest vessels, which have a capacity of 24,346 TEU. The ONE Innovation is 223,200 dwt and registered in Liberia. The dimensions of the vessel are limited by port capabilities and the Suez Canal so like the other ULCVs, the ship is 1,312 feet in length with a 201-foot beam. It will operate with a crew of 34.
Japan Marine United Co., the parent company of Imabari, is highlighting a series of technological advancements to improve the efficiency of the ship and reduce emissions. Analysis technology was used to develop an optimal hull form and bow shape to achieve maximum efficiency at the speed and draft to be most frequently used by the vessel, along with energy-saving devices including the shape of the rudder. They are also fitted with a hybrid EGCS SOx scrubber.
A bow windshield is also employed to improve energy efficiency. The shipyard highlights that it also makes it possible to load containers on the mooring deck level to improve “loadability.” The vessels are also the first application of “brittle crack arrest technology” for extra-thick, high-strength steel plates to a vessel exceeding 20,000 TEU, which improves safety without sacrificing loading efficiency. Each vessel will have 24 rows of containers each with 25 bays and reefer plugs for over 2,000 TEU.
The vessels are powered by MAN B&W’s latest electronically controlled Mark 10.6 engine and also use inverter control for the cooling seawater pump and engine room fan. This will further improve the energy efficiency of the vessels while an integrated navigation system and an all-weather bridge improve operations. They are also making extensive use of a CCTV camera system to improve safety through navigation support as well as to monitor the engine room.
After delivery on Friday, the vessel departed Japan and it is due to arrive in Ningbo, China tomorrow, June 6. ONE reports it will be deployed as part of THE Alliance on the Asia to Europe service. The port rotation includes China, Taiwan, Singapore, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Antwerp, Southampton, and a call in Algeciras before returning to Asia.
ONE Innovation joins MSC which has also deployed its newly delivered ULCVs on multiple routes to Europe. OOCL recently took delivery on its second ULCV which is also sailing on the Asia to Europe routes. Hapag-Lloyd is expected to be next deploying ULCV’s fueled by LNG that are currently building in South Korea.