The Port of Felixstowe welcomed its namesake, COSCO FELIXSTOWE, on its inaugural voyage on 24th May 2002.
The 5,400 TEU vessel, completed earlier this year by Nantong COSCO KHI Ship Engineering Company in China, is 280 metres long, 39.8 metres wide and 60 metres high. Capable of an economic speed of 24 knots, it has a DWT of 68,895 at a summer draught of 14.00 metres, and will be deployed on COSCO’s Far East CNEU Service. From Felixstowe, it will call at Rotterdam, Hamburg, Antwerp, Shanghai, Dalian, Qingdao, Xiamen, Yantian, Hong Kong and Singapore.
The Port co-hosted a reception with COSCO (UK) Limited to commemorate COSCO FELIXSTOWE’s maiden call, attended by members of COSCO’s Management Team and local dignitaries, including the Mayor of Felixstowe, Councillor Malcolm Minns.
During the reception, COSCO FELIXSTOWE’s Master, Mr. Song Qiming, was presented with a special limited-edition print of the Port by Richard Pearson, Managing Director of Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited, and a commemorative Plaque by Captain Yang Bing, President of COSCO Europe.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Pearson said:
“We are extremely delighted to welcome COSCO FELIXSTOWE on its maiden call at the Port of Felixstowe today. It is significant that the vessel should bear our name, as Felixstowe has long been established as one of the leading ports for trade with China. We are particularly honoured that, with this new series of containerships, one of the first has been named after the Port of Felixstowe. We thank COSCO for their continued support, and wish the vessel and its crew well on its maiden voyage.”
In keeping with the Chinese connection, COSCO FELIXSTOWE was worked by the Port’s two new quayside cranes, delivered from Zhenhua Port Machinery Company (ZPMC) of Shanghai in January this year. The cranes arrived in Felixstowe after a journey of nine weeks by sea from China, throughout which they were specially braced against bad weather and heavy seas. They are the largest at the Port, with a lift height of 37 metres above the quay, and heavy lift capacity of 85 tonnes.