OSLO, Norway -- Wallenius Wilhelmsen is committed to building two new car-carrying ships a year for the foreseeable future to meet increased export traffic around the world and to replace aging carriers.
This is an investment of more than $100 million (E85 million) a year and CEO Nils Dyvik said that the company is already looking at what design improvements can be made after the loss of one of its ships, the Tricolour, in the English Channel last year, loaded with cars bound from Europe to the USA.
"We are looking at things like increasing the number of bulkheads, but the Tricolour accident was unusual in that our ship was hit in the side and that is a problem area for any ship," he said.
He added that a replacement for Tricolour had been ordered from the Mitsubishi shipyards in Japan and that it hoped to recover the wreck of the ship soon.
"We are also talking to the carmakers to see what other improvements we can make to cater for vehicles which are coming in future, and working with them in some cases on the design of new models so that 'tie points' can be engineered in," he said.
Tie points are the means by which vehicles are strapped down while being transported by road, rail or sea, an important quality measure.