South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has secured a contract from Norway-based Wilh Wilhelmsen (WWASA) for the construction of two post-panamax vessels.
Following their scheduled delivery in 2014 and 2015, the two new car carriers will join the operations of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL).
WWASA president and CEO Jan Eyvin Wang said the order also includes an option for the construction of two additional vessels.
"Although the car carrying market at the moment might be somewhat weaker than we would like, we believe that the long term underlying growth potential for deep sea transportation of cars and high and heavy equipment is strong and positive," Wang said.
Each vessel will have a length of 200m, breadth of 36.7m, width of 4.3m and will have a car carrying capacity of about 7,930ceu.
According to the company, the new locks in the Panama Canal will be capable of accommodating 366m-long vessels but their new car carriers will be able to call at all ports where the company loads and discharges cargo.
WWL president and CEO Arild Iversen said the new vessels are designed to cater to the needs of the automotive, rolling equipment and manufacturing industries.
"An efficient design enabling optimum cargo handling, together with the latest environmental solutions will ensure that we continue to deliver first-class value to our customers," Iversen said.