12,500-TEU MSC Fabiola biggest box ship ever to dock in North America
MEDITERRANEAN Shipping Company's (MSC) 12,500-TEU Fabiola has become the largest containership to call at a North American port, after making a stop at Long Beach on a transpacific service. Tuesday, 20.Mar.2012, 22:18 (GMT+3)
MEDITERRANEAN Shipping Company's (MSC) 12,500-TEU Fabiola has become the largest containership to call at a North American port, after making a stop at Long Beach on a transpacific service.
The ship called at the Total Terminals International, and was accommodate with a channel depth of 76 feet (23 metres), making it one of the few ports that can handle ships of this size.
The shipping line is expected to continue to add more box ships ranging in size from 11,000-12,500 TEU into its transpacific services over the course of the year.
A report by Alphaliner cited port officials as saying that the MSC Fabiola, "Is the first of what is expected to be a string of larger containerships to be deployed by ocean carriers in Pacific Rim routes."
But the vessel was only 70 per cent full when it arrived and is not scheduled to make another transpacific voyage following its maiden call, said the Paris-based consultancy.
Alphaliner said MSC instead plans to operate three smaller 11,660-TEU vessels on the Far East-US west coast Pearl River Express (PRX) service, which is a joint service with CMA CGM.
"The other carriers active in the trade are not expected to follow MSC's example. They are not expected to deploy ships larger than 10,000 TEU on the transpacific route in the near future, as they are unlikely to be able to fully utilise the available capacity of such ships on the route. The larger ships also pose operational challenges," said Alphaliner.
It noted that the shipping line's giant newbuildings deployed on the Pearl River Express can not call at its regular Long Beach terminal, meaning that ships have to be diverted to the TTI terminal operated by Hanjin Shipping. Kristoffersen: "We are doing whatever we can to empty the ship of fuel oil and dangerous goods."
All 21 crew are Romanian, Filipino and South Africans are reported to have been taken safely ashore. "After the safe evacuation of all crew members already on Thursday night, we have been mobilising all available resources to get the salvage operation underway," said Mr Kristoffersen.
"First priority now is to empty the ship of fuel oil. Shanghai Salvage as been contracted for the operation and is mobilised on site together with our most senior ship management personnel," he said
The 2003-built and 212.75 metre long vessel is chartered by the world's third largest carrier CMA CGM, reported London's Containerisation International.