The calls, by Hapag-Lloyd’s Hamburg Express on its maiden voyage, and UASC’s Jebel Ali, each capable of carrying more than 13,000 teu, came as Southampton prepares to start redevelopment works on its original container berths to enable multiple numbers of this next generation of giant container ships to be handled.
Chris Lewis, managing director of DP World Southampton, described the calls as ushering in “a new era” for the port. “This is an historic occasion for the terminal and one that illustrates how Southampton is geared up to handle these gigantic vessels,” he said.
Doug Morrison, ABP’s port director in Southampton said, “These giant container vessels, with all the economies of scale they bring, are predicted to account for more than half of the capacity of the world’s total container fleet by 2015. By way of personal experience, in my seven years here container ships have nearly doubled in teu”.
New this year and measuring 366 metres in length and 48.6 m in breadth, the UASC Jebel Ali can carry up to 13,500 teu; Hapag-Lloyd’s Hamburg Express, also built this year with similar dimensions, can carry up to 13,169 teu.
DP World Southampton is the second-largest deep-sea container terminal in the UK. It is a joint venture between DP World and Associated British Ports (ABP).