The Port of Felixstowe has welcomed the inaugural call of the world’s largest container ship, the CSCL Xin Los Angeles, operated by China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) of Shanghai.
The giant container ship, which is capable of carrying 9,560 TEU, has the highest declared capacity of any container ship currently in operation, and has a gross tonnage of 106,700, a length of 337m and a breadth of 45.6m. Like the COSCO Ningbo, the previous record holder, the CSCL Xin Los Angeles is owned by a Chinese shipping line and was built in Korea.
The CSCL Xin Los Angeles is making its maiden voyage on CSCL’s Asia/Europe Express 1 (AEX1) service, but is intended for the new Asia/Europe Express 7 (AEX7) service with CMA-CGM, which will commence in late August. The vessel will undertake at least two round voyages on the AEX1 service before slotting into the AEX7. The vessel is the first of four ships that CSCL will deploy on the AEX7 – the second, the CSCL Pusan, is expected to be delivered in September; the third, the Xin Shanghai, in November; and the fourth, the CSCL Le Havre, in January 2007.
Chris Lewis, Chief Executive Officer of Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited, which owns the Port of Felixstowe, commented:
“This is the second time this year that Felixstowe has been able to welcome the world’s largest container vessel. The fact that vessel sizes are increasing is testimony to the demand for goods from the Far East for the Western markets. These giant vessels, together with Hutchison Ports’ plans to create extra capacity through developments at Bathside Bay and Felixstowe South, are vital to ensure that the UK in a strong position to be able to cope with that demand.
It is anticipated that the record for ‘world’s largest container vessel’ will be broken many times in succession next year. Orders have been taken for 10,000, 11,000 and 12,000-TEU vessels.