The ships of this class were designed in concept by Captain John Milward of CNCo, with extensive input from the sea staff.
On all except the first in class, the Highland Chief, in order to permit the carriage of an additional tier of containers, the wheelhouse structure was raised on "stilts" by one deck.
The cranes were mounted on the starboard side in the expectation that the ships would routinely berth port side to, because the cranes luff faster than they slew. Care was taken to ensure that the view ahead and to starboard was unobstructed and this led to the class all having the same arrangement, the Master's cabin was arranged on the port side, not the customary starboard side. This had an odd consequence, when the "Chekiang" was twice pirated by Indonesians, the pirates went straight to the Chief Engineer's cabin, expecting to find the ship's safe there. A single free fall lifeboat was fitted at the stern and the MOB boat was a RIB with a high horsepower outboard.
June 25th 1990. Launched as "Chekiang" for CNCo. Hong Kong.
1991. Chartered to A.P.Moller as the "Maersk Tango", and later renamed "Maersk Asia Decimo (I)".
May 21st 1991. Boarded by pirates in the Karimata Strait, Java Sea, Master and Chief Engineer tied up, over US$14,000 of ship's equipment, cash and crew's effects stolen.
April 19th.1992. In the vicinity of Belitung Island, Selat Galesa in the Java Sea, boarded by five pirates armed with knives. Master tied up, US$2,400 stolen plus some personal items. The Master was taken from the accommodation to the Poop Deck where he was held while the pirates, one by one, scrambled back into their boat.
1994. Renamed "Chekiang".
1996. Renamed "Kokopo Chief I" for CNCo. When the charter expired renamed "Chekiang".
'1998 CNCo.' renamed her "Aotearoa Chief".
Nov 2005. Lengthened by Miho Zosen, new dimensions shown in "Images" below.
2008. Renamed "Pacific Horizon".
2010. Renamed "Island Chief".