Evergreen Marine to add new vessel to South America route

Taipei, July 1 (CNA) Evergreen Marine Corporation (????), the largest container shipper in Taiwan, said Wednesday that it will soon assign a new vessel to serve its Far East-South American route in a bid to tap the upcoming peak season in trade activity. Evergreen Marine took delivery of the 8,508 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) new vessel, which has been named Ever Lovely, Tuesday from Taiwanese shipbuilder CSBC Corp. (??). The Ever Lovely is the ninth vessel built by CSBC under a contract in which Evergreen Marine commissioned the shipbuilder to make ten 8,508-TEU vessels. Evergreen Marine is scheduled to take the 10th in August. TEUs are used to gauge the size of a container vessel. The 10 vessels Evergreen Marine commissioned CSBC to build are categorized as L-Type vessels and are designed to serve long-haul cargo shipping routes. The 10 are part of Evergreen Marine's efforts to expand its fleet. The eco-friendly L-Type vessels are designed to reduce fuel consumption by 12-21 percent, which is expected to not only help Evergreen cut operating costs but also to protect the environment by lowering greenhouse gas emissions, the shipper said. In July 2014, Evergreen Marine completed the delivery of twenty 8,452-TEU vessels built by Samsung Heavy Industries of South Korea. The 20 boats are also categorized as L-Type vessels. Currently, Evergreen Marine operates a fleet with a total capacity of 950,000 TEUs, with 52 percent self-owned by the cargo shippers and the remaining 48 percent chartered. In an annual general meeting held in mid-June, Evergreen Marine said that while demand from Europe showed signs of slowing down due to the debt problems in Greece, the container shipping industry is expected to see rising demand from markets in the Americas starting in the third quarter. The shipper said that due to low fuel costs, the shipping business is cutting its operating costs. As of 12:28 p.m., shares of Evergreen Marine had added 1.88 percent to NT$16.30 (US$0.53) with 10.81 million shares changing hands on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. (By Frances Huang)