In a move to increase capacity on its core service, the Round-The-World Pearl String Service, Rickmers-Linie, the Hamburg-based global breakbulk, heavy lift and project specialist, has chartered the 30,000dwt Cape Darby for a period of two years. The ship is a near sister to the Superflex Heavy MPC vessels, which the company received from Chinese shipyards in 2002 to 2004.

The vessel will be renamed Rickmers Houston before being phased into service in South East Asia in June/July 2008. In many aspects the vessel is identical to her nine Pearl String sisters. Rickmers Houston was built in China in 2001 and is equipped with tweendecks in all five holds. Her service speed is 18 knots. The vessel’s length is 192.90 m, its breadth 27.80 m and the maximum draft 11.20 m. The Rickmers Houston is equipped with twin 100-ton cranes that can be paired to lift 200 tons.

Jan B. Steffens, President and CEO of Rickmers-Linie, expressed his delight with this charter agreement:

‘It allows us to offer our customers additional capacity and to improve the frequency on the trade lanes from Europe to Asia, Asia to America and America to Europe from fourteen to eleven days. This will add to our reliability and service quality.

Furthermore, the Rickmers Houston fits perfectly into our Pearl String schedule, having an identical service speed and with many other details being the same as our proven Rickmers Hamburg-class vessels.’