Fourth 24,000 TEU behemoth joins MSC’s fleet

China’s shipbuilding major Jiangnan Shipyard, a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation, has delivered 24,100 TEU MSC Raya to its owner Bank of Communications Financial Leasing (Bocom), which ordered the ship on behalf of the world’s largest container shipping company MSC. 

Image credit Jiangnan Shipbuilding

The vessel is the fourth 24K TEU ship to be delivered to the company since the beginning of this year. It follows MSC Tessa, MSC Irina, and most recently MSC Celestino Maresca.

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The deck area of the containership, which belongs to the series of the world’s largest containerships, is close to four times the size of a standard football field. Boasting a stacking capacity of 25 layers – equivalent to a towering 22-story building – this massive vessel can carry 24,116 containers.

Designed with sustainability in mind, the ship is equipped with a cutting-edge hybrid scrubber that utilizes an innovative, energy-saving design to reduce harmful emissions. The ship is fitted with a small bulbous bow, large-diameter propeller, and energy-saving ducts that work together to improve fuel efficiency and speed.

Jiangnan said that the second vessel from the series was currently undergoing mooring tests and was scheduled for sea trials in May, while the third vessel from the batch was scheduled for launching in April.

Data from VesselsValue indicates that Bocom has four more 24,000 TEU ULCVs under construction in China for MSC, including MSC Nicola Mastro, being built at Jiangnan, as well as MSC Michel Cappellini, taking shape at Jiangsu Yangzijiang, set for delivery in May 2023.

Two more unnamed units of the same size are being built at Jiangnan Shanghai Changxing HI and are scheduled for delivery in 2024.

The latest milestone comes two weeks after the delivery of MSC Celestino Maresca, built by Hudong Zhonghua Shipbuilding for BoCom on behalf of MSC. MSC Celestino Maresca is the second ship of the same type delivered to MSC by the yard over the past month.

From mid-March to early April, MSC is expected to phase in four 24,000 TEU newbuildings into the Asia – Europe network of the 2M partnership, including MSC Tessa, and MSC Irina, followed by MSC Celestino Maresca and MSC Raya.

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MSC Celestino Maresca joined her sister in the fleet of the ‘AE6 / Lion’ loop on 28 March in Ningbo, while the MSC Raya is scheduled to start her maiden voyage on 9 April in Shanghai for the ‘AE55 / Griffin’ service, Alphaliner said.

In 2023, the world’s top eleven ocean carriers are set to add a whopping 89 large mainline container ships to their fleets, according to Alphaliner. MSC alone will account for almost half of these with 14 units due.