The new feeders are not likely to be ready until 2017
Maersk Line has tendered for ten newbuild feeder vessels expected to cost up to $550 million optimised for use in Emissions Control Areas (ECAs), Tradewinds reports.
The planned ships are understood to be a series of 3,400 Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (TEU) capacity vessels designed specifically to be run on lower sulfur fuel.
It is understood that the new vessels will operate in the Baltic Sea and be "ice-class strengthened."
Shipyards in Japan, South Korea, and China are said to be likely to bid for the project, but market commentators noted the South Korean yards were experienced in both ice-class vessels and low sulfur designs.
Maersk is known in the industry to have set a high-specifications standard for its vessels, which not many shipyards are able to meet
"Maersk is known in the industry to have set a high-specifications standard for its vessels, which not many shipyards are able to meet," Tradewinds quoted an industry source as saying.
"Chinese shipbuilders do not have much experience in building ice-class vessels, while Japanese shipyards have not been building them for a long time.
"This only leaves the Koreans in the equation."
This week, DNB Markets said the lower bunker costs could aid AP Moeller-Maersk to beat 2014 earnings predictions.