Hutchison Ports aims to handle larger box ships at new Laem Chabang terminal
HUTCHISON Ports in Thailand is preparing to accommodate vessels of up to 200,000 dwt on the mainline east-west trades as it begins operations at its US$600 million Terminal D in Laem Chabang
HUTCHISON Ports in Thailand is preparing to accommodate vessels of up to 200,000 dwt on the mainline east-west trades as it begins operations at its US$600 million Terminal D in Laem Chabang.
Terminal D will fully come onstream by 2023, adding 3.5 million TEU in capacity at the Thai gateway port. Once completed the terminals will account for half the port's total container handling capacity of 6.5 million TEU, reported Seatrade Maritime News, Colchester, UK.
Managing director - Thailand and Southeast Asia for Hutchison Ports, Stephen Ashworth, says the new berths had been designed to handle vessels of up 200,000 dwt, larger than those that have been calling at the port and it has introduced quay cranes with 24-boxes outreach.
The new terminal enables the terminal operator to handle 14,000 TEU vessels from one of its top customers, Japanese joint venture Ocean Network Express (ONE), part of The Alliance with Hapag-Lloyd and Yang Ming.
'The Alliance are very strong here and that's driven by the fact the Japanese lines are historically significant players in Thailand on the liner side,' Mr Ashworth said.
While intra-Asia volumes account for 70 per cent of Hutchison's volumes in Laem Chabang, with the market to North Asia particularly strong, the volumes from direct calls on the mainline trades are rising.
'The trend looking at some of our data shows that the direct calls on the east-west trades are increasing, so that would influence lines to bring in larger vessels. In our case there is an increasing move to direct calls on the east-west trades,' he explained.
ONE's alliance partners Hapag-Lloyd and Yang Ming are also expected to add vessels of 14,000 TEU in capacity. In theory the terminal could handle vessels of up to 18,000 TEU, however, Mr Ashworth does not see this happening any time soon owing to the port's location and tidal restrictions for ships of such size.
'No one's talking about it - shipping lines looking at moving from 10,000 TEU to 14,000 TEU,' he said.