Thursday, November 4, 2010

South Africa Welcomes Its Largest Ever Container Ship

Post Panamax Giant to Call at Durban Tomorrow
Shipping News Feature

SOUTH AFRICA – Ironically it is land locked Switzerland that is the home to the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) the second largest container shipping line in the world in terms of TEU capacity, and the 5th November will see one of the world’s largest box carriers arrive at the Port of Durban on her maiden voyage into South African waters when the MSC Maeva becomes the biggest vessel ever to dock in the country.

Built in 2005 and at 325 metres long with a beam of 42.8 metres plus a total container capacity of nearly 8,100 TEU’s, the MSC Maeva is one of the newer generation Super Post-Panamax vessel and the vessel’s generous proportions meant it was not able to call at Durban prior to completion of the harbour mouth’s deepening and widening project. It will also take advantage of refurbished berth facilities at the Durban Container Terminal.

The MSC Maeva will present a challenge for cargo crane operators at Durban Container Terminal’s Pier 2, who will for the first time be tasked with manipulating their hefty harbour cranes to load the vessel seven containers high in order to maximise space. The ship will be discharging 1,276 containers and loading 4,669 containers and it is estimated she will be in port for three days prior to her return trip to the Far East.

The maiden voyage of the MSC Maeva is a significant achievement not only for MSC, but for Transnet and the Port of Durban. It represents the port’s capacity to cater for these large vessels and to retain its position as one of the leading ports in Africa.

Photo:- MSC Maeva under way (with a little help).