Hamburg welcomes first 20,000 TEU containership
The Port of Hamburg says it welcomed the first 20,000 TEU containership. Four hundred metres’ long and almost 59 metres’ wide, the MOL TRIUMPH, the new flagship of MOL Mitsui O.S.K. Lines of Japan, is among the world’s largest containerships. Barely any vessel has ever been capable of loading so many boxes. With a capacity of 20,170 TEU, the MOL TRIUMPH has broken through the 20,000-TEU ‘glass ceiling’ that just a few years ago seemed impossible to breach. On her maiden voyage, this mega-carrier is scheduled to call at the Port of Hamburg for the first time towards 22:00 on the evening of 15 May, berthing at HHLA Container Terminal Burchardkai (CTB).
The MOL TRIUMPH was named at shipbuilders Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea on 15 March and handed over to owners MOL on 27 March. She is the first in a class of six 20,000-TEU vessels ordered by MOL.
The MOL TRIUMPH will be deployed on the FE2 service operated by the recently formed ‘THE Alliance’, linking China and SE Asia with Northern Europe. THE Alliance serves the Port of Hamburg with a total of five East Asia liner services. Two of these will be handled at CTB, the other three at HHLA Container Terminal Altenwerder (CTA).
Mega-vessels of this type pose a challenge for ports and terminals, and not solely on account of their size. The immense cargo volumes needing to be handled and received/despatched within a minimum time frame demand superhuman efforts from terminal operators.
HHLA Container Terminal Burchardkai possesses two high-performance berths of the type required for clearing the new 20,000-TEU containerships. The Hamburg operator’s mightiest container gantry cranes are deployed on the job. Their booms extend over the entire 24-box width of the mega-vessels. Thirteen cranes of this type are in operation at CTB.
With a 20,000-TEU ship, between 11,000 und 14,500 TEU need to be shifted per call. Such volumes require tremendous efforts not only in terminal logistics, but also on pre- and post-carriage container flows. At CTB, automated block-storage systems, optimized truck handling and extensive rail transport capacities ensure that vast quantities of containers are despatched rapidly.
The MOL TRIUMPH will probably leave the Port of Hamburg towards 17:00 on 18 May, resuming the return voyage to East Asia after additional calls in Rotterdam and Le Havre.