Thursday, January 29, 2015

Record Shipment of Container Freight as 18,000 TEU Barrier Surpassed

Cargo Carrying Capability Being Utilised to Full Extent as Giant Box Vessel Beats Previous Total
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – Maersk Line’s Triple E behemoth, the Maersk McKinney Moller left the port of Algeciras, Spain en route to Tanjung Pelepas in Malaysia, at the beginning of the week with a record load of 18,168 TEU’s, breaking the record held previously by her sister ship the Mary Maersk, which in August 2014 had sailed the same route with a total of 17,603 TEUs. By exceeding the 18,000 TEU barrier, the container shipping line crosses a once inconceivable boundary as some of the world’s biggest players in the ocean freight industry looks to compete for the title of world’s largest ship. Speaking on the subject of the vessel’s accomplishment, Captain of Maersk McKinney Moller, Niels Vestergaard Pedersen said:

“Personally I am both very proud, and humbled, to be the Captain of the iconic Maersk McKinney Moller, and to be the first vessel to cross the 18,000 TEU limit. All crew members have shared their excitement with cameras, questions, and of course a lot of planning and calculations.

“It is not an easy task to fill up a vessel like this. It is difficult to make a record like this, with a few people pushing, and many highlighting the risks. It is 100% team work all over the line, and a lot of planning and thoughts had been done.”

The Maersk McKinney Moller was the first Triple E vessel to roll off the production line with the series recently holding the record as the world's largest container ships, by capacity, being able to carry 18,270 twenty foot containers. Maersk Line were surpassed by CSCL in December with the launch of the 19,100 TEU CSCL Globe, which has now been overshadowed by the Mediterranean Shipping Company’s (MSC) 19,224 TEU MSC Oscar. For how long will the MSC Oscar retain the title as world’s largest ship (by capacity) remains to be seen, as shippers race to become the first to place their orders for 20,000+ TEU goliaths.

Achievements such as this give an indication that, for now at least, the determination of the major lines to build ever larger vessels in a bid to minimise costs per container, may actually be a strategy which is working.

Photo: The Maersk McKinney Moller at her naming ceremony.