The Port of Hamburg said the world's largest containership, the 16,020-TEU CMA CGM Marco Polo,
berthed at the HHLA Container Terminal Burchardkai (CTB).
But Reinhard Peschel, managing director of CMA CGM Deutschland, said "delay in the dredging of the river Elbe makes it more difficult
for us to enable dependable handling, because even now we can only sail
upriver under restrictions due to very narrow tide windows and the
limited draught for ever-larger vessels.”
Stefan Behn, HHLA executive board member for the container
segment, said cooperation between the port and authorities on the Elbe river is being intensified in order to optimize the
handling of a growing number of ships with a capacity of more than
“For us, this entails close collaboration
with the Port Control Centre in Brunsbüttel, the harbour master’s office
of the HPA and the pilots on the river and in the port. To improve our
traffic services even further, we are adding staff at the Feeder
Logistics Centre, which we operate jointly with Eurogate, in order to
support the coordination of mega-ship traffic from there in future,” he said in a statement.
The information service Alphaliner said in the current edition of its weekly newsletter that there are 20 service strings currently employing container vessels of more than 10,000 TEUs
. A chart in the publication shows that after Rotterdam, Hamburg is the most commonly called port in Europe by those big ships.
The Port of Hamburg said that to boost the performance of the CTB and develop
its capacities in line with demand, Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG
(HHLA) has invested some 400 million euros ($521 million) in its largest terminal over the
last few years. One focus was on the modern mega-ship berths with tandem
gantry cranes that can load or discharge four 20-foot containers or two
40-foot containers in a single movement.
“We have specifically prepared
the Burchardkai for handling the latest generation of container
mega-ships. Continuous innovation and the great dedication of our staff
keep our terminals at the top of the European rankings,” Behn said.
The CMA CGM Marco Polo
is 396 meters long and 53.6 meters wide and sails in the FAL1 service between the Far East and Northern Europe.
“Thanks to its good hinterland connections to Central and Eastern Europe and the excellent trans-shipment link to the Scandinavian and Baltic regions, CMA CGM made a conscious decision that its ships, such as the CMA CGM Marco Polo
, should call at Hamburg. We have to bring our ships as close as possible to our customers," Peschel said. - Chris Dupin