Hamburg gets set to receive world’s biggest box ship

Written by Nick Blenkey
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HMM Algeciras on its maiden voyage in the port of loading in Yantian, China. [Photo: HMM]

The world’s largest containership, the 24,000 TEU HMM Algeciras, is now on its maiden voyage and will call at the Port of Hamburg for the first time on Sunday, June 7. The ship is expected to arrive at the Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) Container Terminal Burchardkai (CTB) with the evening’s high tide at around 7.00 p.m. During its stay, the mega-freighter will load and discharge approximately 8,500 containers and is scheduled to leave the terminal next Wednesday at around 2.00 p.m.

HMM Algeciras is the new flagship of South Korean shipping company HMM (formerly Hyundai Merchant Marine).

“We’re very much looking forward to welcoming the HMM Algeciras here in Hamburg,” says James Kim, CEO of HMM Germany, describing the giant ship’s first call in the city as a milestone in the long maritime ties between South Korea and Hamburg.

HMM Algeciras will moor in the Waltershofer Hafen at HHLA Container Terminal Burchardkai.

“HHLA is pleased that HMM is now coming to Hamburg with its largest ships,” says Jens Hansen, Executive Board member and Chief Operating Officer (COO) at HHLA . “This confirms that we had the right proactive approach to investments in new gantry crane technology and storage capacities in order to be able to handle ships of this size today.”

The 8,500 containers, equivalent to 13,600 TEU, that are expected to be handled at the CTB by Wednesday include consumer goods, food, beverages, textiles, electronic goods, machine and equipment parts, medical devices, commodity chemicals and all types of raw materials. This volume of cargo, which must be handled and forwarded as quickly as possible, requires top performance from employees and the terminal’s technology.

HHLA prepared to handle the new generation of ships with a package of measures that included expanding its automated block storage system to improve capacity and efficiency, making pre-announcements for truck processing, automated container data recording and self-service terminals. Rail capacities were also expanded in order to further improve arrivals and departures of container flows.

Five new container gantry cranes have just arrived at Burchardkai for a third mega-ship berth. This will provide HHLA with additional capacities for handling ultra large container vessels with a cargo volume of 24,000 standard containers (TEU) and more.

Hamburg’s Burchardkai terminal has two mega-ship berths; a third is under construction. [Photo: HHLA / Thies Rätzke]
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