Containership Becomes Largest to Sail the Thames

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

February 26, 2015

Munkebo Maersk (Photo: DP World)

Munkebo Maersk (Photo: DP World)

The Munkebo Maersk became the largest ship to ever sail up the River Thames as it called at DP World London Gateway, the U.K.’s newest deep-sea port hub.

The 399-meter-long, 60-meter-wide, 195,000-ton Triple-E class vessel – equivalent in length to almost four football pitches and capable of carrying more than 18,300 TEUs – is one of the largest container vessels in the world, operating on Maersk’s new East-West Network. 

It was drawn alongside DP World London Gateway Port, adjacent to Europe’s largest logistics park, at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, February 26, with the help of the Port of London Authority’s pilots. 

It comes just weeks after the Edith Maersk called at DP World London Gateway, which at 366 meters, had held the previous record for the largest ship to sail up the River Thames.

With quay cranes among the tallest in the world, coupled with cutting-edge, automated technology, DP World London Gateway enables vessels of this size and bigger to berth closer to two thirds of the U.K. market, removing unnecessary supply chain costs.

The Munkebo Maersk’s call also comes just two weeks after DP World announced that it is moving forward with plans for a new 400 meter third berth at London Gateway, scheduled to be operational in the second half of 2016. 

“By welcoming the Munkebo Maersk we have demonstrated again that we are more than capable of handling the world’s biggest containerships, in this case operating on the Asia-Europe routes,” said Simon Moore, chief executive of DP World London Gateway. “But ships are only going to get bigger and DP World London Gateway has been built to future proof its operational capacity, delivering efficiency that simply can’t be achieved elsewhere. Our weather resilient quay cranes, which are the biggest in the world and able to operate in winds that bring other U.K. ports to a standstill, can reach across 25 rows of containers and have a superior lift height - both wider and higher than any ship currently in service.” 

Managing Director of Maersk Line UK and Ireland, Brian Godsafe, said, “We’re using DP World London Gateway to help ensure the right container equipment is available for our customers in the locations they want it. In this instance, that means out in the Far East where they can be used to transport goods across our East-West Network.”

Chief Executive of the Port of London Authority, Robin Mortimer, said: “Welcoming ships of this size is becoming business as usual for our pilots, harbor masters and port control teams, who oversaw the safe arrival of Munkebo Maersk.”

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