The latest vessel to hold the title of world’s largest container ship, the 19,224 TEU MSC Oscar, has made its maiden call at the Port of Felixstowe, the Port of Britain.
The 192,237 gross tonnage ship, operated by Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), is 395 metres long, 59 metres wide and has a draft of 16 metres. It operates on MSC’s new East-West trade routes between Asia and Europe.
Commenting on the call, Clemence Cheng, Chief Executive Officer of the Port of Felixstowe, said:
“We are delighted to welcome the MSC Oscar to Felixstowe on its maiden voyage. Our relationship with MSC dates back to the 1980s and over the last 30 years we have grown together and continue to work in close partnership to provide the best possible service to UK importers and exporters.
“The MSC Oscar represents the third weekly service to call at Felixstowe with ships of 18,000 TEU or more. As the size and number of mega-vessels continues to increase, we are continuing to expand our facilities to meet them. The extension to Berth 9 will be complete later this year. Together with three new ultra-large container cranes it will boost our ability to handle these very large ships.”
Dan Everitt, Managing Director of MSC UK Ltd, added:
“The first UK arrival of the MSC Oscar is a truly special moment for us. The introduction of this fantastic new vessel complements our recently announced, newly enhanced East-West services to our customers. Delivering increased weekly sailings, more direct port pairs, improved efficiencies and strong relationships with our terminal partners, our services have been developed in line with our aspirations to deliver the ultimate customer experience and are delivered by our dedicated, local UK-based teams. We are confident that our improved fleet and personal service, together with the great partnership we share with the Port of Felixstowe, will continue to help us to improve our shipping services for the UK market in the future.”
The MSC Oscar was built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering in South Korea and is the first of seven similar sized ships that will be delivered to MSC in 2015. It has a total of 18 ships in the 19,000 TEU class on order for delivery over the next few years.
The Port of Felixstowe is the largest container port in the UK. It benefits from being the closest UK container port to the main ports of Northern Europe and having direct marine access from the North Sea.