Rickmers Hamburg, the first of the new Rickmers-Linie Superflex Heavy multi-purpose container carrier (MPC) vessels to be delivered, was officially named in Hamburg on December 9. The vessel's godmother, Lore Uldall,
wife of Hamburg's minister of economic affairs, Gunnar Uldall, christened the vessel to much celebration. The pastor of St Jacobi Church in Hamburg, Lutz Mohaupt, blessed the crew and vessel.
Leading the celebrations was Bertram R C Rickmers, the owner of Rickmers-Linie, with guests in attendance included Gunnar Uldall as well as numerous customers and business partners from across Germany and abroad.
"Rickmers Hamburg is the first step towards our vision of
the Round-the-World Pearl String Service."
Rickmers Hamburg's maiden voyage took her from Shanghai via Masan (South Korea) and Hitachi (Japan) to the East Coast of North America. She then returned to the Far East where she joined Rickmers' Round-the-World service.
Her eastbound voyage took her via the U.S. once again, this time proceeding on to North Europe, during which time she was captained by Captain Kocmiel.
The order for the nine ships was split between three shipbuilders in China. The Xiamen Shipyard is building five of the vessels while the Jinling
Shipyard in Nanjing is building two, the first being Rickmers Hamburg. The
remaining two ships are being built by the Shanghai Shipyard. Rickmers
Tokyo will be delivered by mid December 2002, the remaining seven will
follow in the course of next year.
With adjustable 'tweendecks for optimal space utilisation and dehumidifying
system to protect iron and steel cargoes from rust, the Superflex Heavy MPCs
are multi-purpose, state-of-the-art vessels able to meet all of the
transport and securing requirements of project and heavy lift cargo. Each
vessel is capable of 19.5 knots and is equipped with four cranes. The
largest pair are each rated at 320 tonnes and can be twinned for lifts of up to 640 tonnes.
The new vessels will see the upgrade of the current Round-the-World service
to the innovative Pearl String service.