Classification society American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has entered into a cooperation agreement with Shanghai Merchant Ship Design and Research Institute (SDARI) to develop a new generation of feeder container carriers.
Under the terms of the agreement, the entities will jointly design and develop next-generation feeder design that will focus on flexibility and operational efficiency.
ABS senior vice-president and chief technology officer Howard Fireman said: "Changing environmental regulations, unpredictable energy prices and volatile freight rates have made it imperative for ship designers to continuously improve the operational and environmental performance of their next generation designs.
"ABS is working with industry as designs change and new concepts are introduced."
The design is expected to incorporate technology-readiness features that will enable the carriers to comply with present and future regulations cost-effectively.
The design will meet future market and trade requirements driven by the increase in ultra-large container carriers as well as the growth of specific regional markets, the classification society said.
SDARI president Jintao Hu said: "At this crucial moment when China is transforming from shipbuilding nation to a shipbuilding power, the collaboration that we have strengthened with ABS in container carriers positions us to generate new concepts based on market demand and to launch cutting-edge products.
"I believe the development of this new generation of feeder container carriers will further strengthen the partnership between SDARI and ABS, promoting the transformation and upgrading of Chinese shipbuilding industry."
Earlier this year, Deltamarin and Wartsila introduced new container feeder designs focusing on fuel economy and cargo capacity.