Busy start to the year for world's biggest container carriers

Wednesday 21 03 2018

Already in the past few months the port of Antwerp has welcomed several megamax ships with a capacity of around 20,000 TEU on their maiden trip. And in the coming months too a whole series of newly built leviathans will call at Antwerp on their first sea voyage.

Fast handling below the locks

The terminals in the Deurganck dock are ideally equipped to handle the largest container carriers in the world. Thus the Antwerp Gateway terminal served the brand-new Cosco Shipping Aries on 26 February. A few weeks later, on 12 March, it was the turn of the second megamax unit operated by the Chinese shipping company Cosco Shipping Lines, namely the Cosco Shipping Taurus.

The Deurganck dock's neighbour MPET (MSC PSA European Terminal) received visits by similar giant carriers, this time operated by the Danish company Maersk, the largest container shipping company in the world. Maersk is currently taking delivery of 11 new units of the second triple E generation with a capacity of 20,568 TEU. During the past month MPET handled the Marseille Maersk on 21 February and four days later the Manchester Maersk.


Essential port for +20,000 TEU

During the months of April, May and June ship spotters along the Scheldt will have plenty to keep them busy. On 29 April the Murcia Maersk is due to call here on its first sea trip, and then on 11 May it is the turn of the Ever Golden, the megamax carrier operated by Evergreen.

On the 29th of April, the Murcia Maersk arrives at our port on its first voyage and on 11 May it is Ever Golden's turn, the megamax carrier of the Evergreen shipping company.

On 20 May MPET will receive the Manila Maersk, and one day later the new Liebherr cranes on the Antwerp Gateway terminal will swing out for the Cosco Shipping Leo. The latter's sister ship, the Cosco Shipping Gemini, is expected at Antwerp Gateway for the first time on 4 June. 

The visits by these ocean giants once more emphasise the importance of Antwerp for the largest container carriers in the world, which can be handled quickly and efficiently here at a concentrated point below the locks. Conversely, the significance of container trade for the port of Antwerp is demonstrated by the figures by last year, during which the container volume rose by 4.1% to 10.5 million TEU, with a record of more than 900,000 TEU being handled during the peak months.