The bow windshields first invented by Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) could be set to go mainstream with news that the world’s third largest liner has installed one on a flagship in its fleet.
Images from the Tugster, a blog covering ships passing through the port of New York, show the 16,000 teu CMA CGM Marco Polo has had a nose job, with a curved navy blue metal shield added to the prow of the giant vessel.
MOL was the first to develop these windshields for containerships, getting ClassNK to check how much they reduce bunker consumption in early tests six years ago. MOL’s merged container line, Ocean Network Express (ONE), operated with Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line), has in the last year installed windshields on two ships, the ONE Trust and ONE Tradition. MOL is also commercialising the development of hard sails, with the first one installed on a bulk carrier last year.
Alphaliner, which has been covering container shipping’s efforts to decarbonise carefully, noted in its most recent weekly report: “It remains to be seen whether the retrofit is a one-off test or whether CMA CGM intends to install windshields on additional vessels.”
Officials at CMA CGM have yet to respond to questions sent by Splash earlier.
Norasia, a containerline that was eventually bought by CSAV, and then folded into Hapag-Lloyd, featured smaller bow shields in a series of ships built around 20 years ago.