One of the world’s largest container vessels – and the biggest ever to visit Malta – has called at the Freeport on its maiden voyage.
Forming part of an exclusive club of megaships, the Munich Maersk stretches some four football pitches in length (399 metres) and spans a breadth of 58.6 metres. At full capacity, it can carry 20,568 TEU containers.
To service the vessel, Malta Freeport deployed four super-post Panamax Quayside Cranes that were acquired specifically to ensure that the facility can cater for the world’s largest megaships.
Malta Freeport Terminals CEO Alex Montebello said: “The container ship industry has been changing dramatically as shipping lines commission bigger and better vessels. The challenge for us has been to have the vision to change with them so we can remain at the forefront of a hugely competitive market.”
Montebello said the Freeport had modernised its facilities and equipment to ensure it can handle vessels of such magnitude. It has also increased its workforce, organised intensive training programmes for employees and implemented new work practices to raise performance levels and service standards to the highest possible level.
“What we are seeing today is the fruit of the huge investment, amounting to some €240 million, that has taken place at Malta Freeport since it was privatised in 2004.”
Earlier this month, the Freeport successfully introduced the most advanced Terminal Operating System available worldwide that revolutionises the container handling process and will consolidate the Freeport’s standing as one of the leading hubs in the Mediterranean.
The Munich Maersk, built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) in Korea, was delivered to Maersk Line – the world’s largest container shipping company – in June and belongs to a new breed of high efficiency vessels that can load a significantly higher number of containers as shipping lines seek to replace smaller, less efficient ships.