Southampton's role as a UK regional gateway confirmed by arrival of two 13,000 teu container carriers at the same time.
Southampton’s strategic role as a regional gateway for the new generation of ultra-large container ships (ULCS) was reinforced 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.
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 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."
He added: “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."