The new vessel belongs to a group of four structurally identical vessels in the Polar class that have been built for Hamburg Sud by the Chinese shipyard Jiangsu New Yangzi Shipbuilding. With a total length of 230 metres and a width of 37.30 metres, each ship offers a container storage capacity of 3,800 TEU and is equipped with 1,000 reefer plugs.
Antwerp is one of the most important destinations in this region for onward distribution to other European markets, especially for bananas. Hamburg Sud has had its own office in Antwerp since 1996, where some 50 employees now work, the shipping line said in a statement.
The Polar Ecuador is deployed in Hamburg Sud's North Europe - Mexico/Caribbean service (EMCS), which connects Antwerp and other European ports in Ireland, Great Britain and Germany with important Mexican and Caribbean ports.
'Antwerp is a highly important port for Hamburg Sud, and the Belgian New Fruit Wharf is a very suitable place for the christening of a Polar-class vessel,' says Frank Smet, (CCO) of Hamburg Sud.
'After all, with more than 1,000 reefer plugs, the Polar Ecuador transports a disproportionately large volume of refrigerated cargo for a container vessel of this size from Mexico and the Caribbean to Antwerp. This includes, for example, bananas, pineapples and melons, which are handled particularly efficiently and professionally by the fruit and reefer specialists here.'