World's largest containership in Malta Freeport
CMA CGM Marco Polo, the world’s largest containership, berthed this morning at Malta Freeport’s Terminal Two North Quay. With a carrying capacity of 16,000 TEUs, CMA CGM Marco Polo has exceptional dimensions, a length of 396 metres, a width of 54 metres, and a draft of 16 metres and is equipped with all the latest environmental technologies.
The container vessel, which is owned by CMA CGM, the world’s third largest shipping line was built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering in South Korea and sails under the UK flag. The CMA CGM Marco Polo is the first of a series of three 16, 000 TEU vessels, that will all be named after great explorers. The next two containerships of this magnitude are expected to be delivered in 2013. CMA CGM Marco Polo was deployed on the line’s key weekly service, the ‘French Asia Line’. The vessel called at the following ports before coming to Malta, namely Ningbo, Shanghai, Xiamen, Hong Kong, Chiwan, Yantian, Port Kelang, Tangier, Southampton, Hamburg, Bremerhaven, Rotterdam and Zeebrugge, After Malta Freeport the vessel will be calling at the ports of Khor Al Fakkan, Jebel Ali and back to Ningbo. Eleven of the largest ships of the CMA CGM’s fleet are deployed on the FAL1 service. Indeed CMA CGM MARCO POLO will be calling regularly at Malta Freeport Terminals on the FAL1 service.
The launching of CMA CGM Marco Polo reinforces the Group’s strategy, which began 20 years ago, with the opening of its own offices in China. Presently the carrier operates 34 services going from China to Europe, to North and South America, to Australia and Africa, i.e. one sailing every 5 hours.
The call at Malta Freeport of a vessel with this magnitude was possible as a result of the heavy investment undertaken by the Freeport in the facilities, particularly in Quayside Cranes, which are the largest in the Mediterranean. This investment was complemented by an extensive dredging programme of all the mainline berths and the fairway. An investment programme of over €175 million has been undertaken since being privatisation in 2004.
In early 2013, Malta Freeport Terminals will commence infrastructural works on expanding the North Quay of Terminal Two to be in a position to operate the 18,000 TEU vessels that are expected to be delivered during the same year.