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Marine Log

January 24, 2007

Hoegh and Maersk in car carrier cooperation

Hoegh Autoliners has moved to ensure it has sufficient capacity to meet grwoing customer demand. It has reached an agreement with A.P. Moller-Maersk to enter into a cooperation arangement for their fleets of car carriers.

A.P. Moller-Maersk, through its Maersk Shipping Singapore unit, owns a fleet of Ro/Ro car carriers that historically have been chartered out to car carrier operators.

The combined fleet of about 67 vessels will be operated commercially from Oslo under the name of Hoegh Autoliners.

Hoegh Autoliners and A.P. Moller-Maersk will each remain responsible for the technical management and crewing of their own vessels.

The new cooperation is established to provide increased capacity, faster transit times and higher frequency to meet customers' requirements. The A.P. Moller-Maersk car carriers, owned by Maersk Shipping Singapore. will enter the cooperation as time charter commitments expire.

"Our customer oriented business approach remains at the core of the business model and our customers' cargo projections motivate our ambitions to grow," says Thor Jorgen Guttormsen, CEO of Hoegh Autoliners. "The cooperation with A.P.Moller - Maersk improves our ability to meet our customers' requirements for services and transportation volume."

"We believe in Hoeegh Autoliners' customer oriented strategy and expect the cooperation will make a strong product even stronger," says Soren Skou, Group Executive Board Member, A. P. Moller-Maersk .

World production of factory new cars has grown steadily to about 62 million units in 2006. World car production is expected to continue growing to about 90 million units in 2015 representing an annual growth rate of 3-4%. Historically about 15% of the production volume has been exported overseas.

In addition the globalization of the car manufacturing industry, is affecting seaborne transportation positively resulting in additional growing demand for transportation services.

Hoegh Autoliners says it expects the market for Ro/Ro car carriers to remain strong and has experienced growing interest from customers in securing future transportation capacity.