Thursday, November 8, 2012

Biggest Container Vessel Carries Her First Freight

Maiden Voyage for 16,000 TEU French Giant
Shipping News Feature

CHINA – FRANCE – The world’s largest containership sailed on her maiden voyage with a first load of freight from Ningbo, China yesterday (Wednesday 7th November). The Marco Polo is at 16,000 TEU currently the biggest box carrier and is the first of a series of three similar dimension vessels that will all be named after great explorers. The delivery of the two next vessels is expected in 2013.

Owned by French liner group CMA CGM she will be operated on the company’s French Asia Line service’s FAL 1 rotation where all the group’s largest vessels operate on a fixed-day, weekly connection between Central and South China, the main exporting zones of the country, and Northern Europe. The direct service to Southampton and to Hamburg offers European importers the fastest transit times of the market.

FAL1 is part of a global network of 8 CMA CGM services connecting Asia to Europe Atlantic, which the company claims to be the most thorough offer on the market, and which is based on 29 vessels of 11,400 to 16,000 TEUs. Nicolas Sartini, CMA CGM Group Senior Vice President Asia-Europe Lines, said of the latest offering:

“It is with great pride that the CMA CGM Group launches this new vessel, which is the largest in the world. It shows the expertise of the Group’s teams, who are able to handle not only the very technical piloting of the ship but also its commercial operations. Our entire network of 400 agencies all around the world is active to ensure the successful launching of this ship.

“The CMA CGM Marco Polo is going to join the FAL service, the backbone of the Group’s network of lines. This launching reinforces the Group’s strategy, which began 20 years ago, with the opening of its own offices in China, and continues today with 34 services going from China to Europe, to North and South America, to Australia and Africa, i.e. one departure every 5 hours. To this must also be added the 20 weekly services of our subsidiary Cheng Lie Navigation, the Intra-Asia specialist.”

The new vessel boasts all the latest environmental technologies as part of CMA CGM’s current policy including an electronically controlled engine allowing a significantly reduced consumption of fuel (-3% on average) and of lub oil (-25%) coupled with a twisted leading edge rudder improving the hydrodynamics of the vessel (optimisation of the water flow), and significantly reducing energy expenditures as well as CO2 emissions.

Marco Polo also has a Pre-Swirl Stator® allowing the straightening up of the water flow upstream from the propeller in order to improve its productivity. Combined with the twisted leading edge rudder, this innovation optimizes the hydrodynamics of the vessel and makes it possible to reduce by 2 to 4% the consumption of energy and the atmospheric emissions.

Added to this are an “Exhaust Gas Bypass” system, which improves the energetic efficiency of the vessel, reducing the fuel consumption by 1.5% at low speeds and an optimized hull design allowing to improve propulsion of the vessel through the water. Also integrated is a ballast water treatment system I line with IMO regulations to to preserve the biodiversity of the oceans.

The ship was constructed at the yards of DSME (Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering) in South Korea and the vessel is 396 metres long, 54 metres wide, with a draft of 16 metres.