UK: Two Mega-Ships at DP World Southampton
Southampton’s strategic role as a regional gateway for the new generation of ultra-large container ships (ULCS) was reinforced yesterday with calls from two ocean carriers – among the largest and newest in the world – which berthed in tandem at the UK’s only South Coast container terminal, DP World Southampton.
The calls by Hapag-Lloyd’s Hamburg Express and UASC’s Jebel Ali, each capable of carrying more than 13,000 TEUs, arrived as the Port of Southampton prepares to start redevelopment works to cement its ability to handle multiple numbers of this next generation of giant container ships.
It was also Hamburg Express’s maiden call to the container terminal, where productivity has risen by 20 per cent due to enhanced working methods and a dynamic “can-do” culture.
Both ships were welcomed by senior figures from DP World Southampton and Associated British Ports (ABP). Doug Morrison, ABP’s Port Director in Southampton and Chris Lewis, Managing Director of DP World Southampton, described the calls by the two ships as ushering in “a new era” for the port, which generates an estimated 10,000 jobs in the region.
Mr Lewis said, “This is an historic occasion for the terminal, and one that illustrates how Southampton is geared up to handle these gigantic vessels. Against this exciting backdrop, we aim to be the container terminal of choice for customers in the UK and, as a result, secure and create valuable jobs throughout the supply chain, from the quayside to the supermarket shelves. Our customers rightly expect the best of operational capability at a deep-sea container terminal, as well as the best productivity, flexibility and fastest turnaround times.”
Mr Morrison said, “These giant container vessels, with all the economies of scale they bring, are predicted to account for more than half of the capacity of the world’s total container fleet by 2015. By way of personal experience, in my seven years here container ships have nearly doubled in TEU capacity.
“Shipping lines are drawn to Southampton because our location means a minimum deviation from the main shipping lanes thereby offering their customers faster transit times. This means that we are often the first and last port of call in and out of Northern Europe.
“With an inspirational ‘can-do’ culture, the DP World Southampton team is breaking ship and landside productivity records to ensure that Southampton stays ahead of its British competitors and ranks among the best in Europe.”
Source: dpworldsouthampton, August 21, 2012