Hamburg CTB welcomes first 20,000 TEU vessel

MOL Triumph berthed at Hamburg CTB. Source: HHLA

On 15 May 2017 at 9 pm MOL TRIUMPH, one of the world’s largest containerships of today, arrived at HHLA Container Terminal Burchardkai (CTB) in Hamburg, informs HHLA. Having a capacity of 20,170 TEU, the new flagship of Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) is the first vessel of over 20,000 TEU calling the Port of Hamburg.

Both for the shipping line and for the Port of Hamburg, a mega-ship like MOL TRIUMPH is a challenge. Prior to the arrival, its call and turning manoeuver in front of Waltershof basin were simulated at the port’s nautical centre. Hamburg Harbour Master Jörg Pollmann, pilots’ representatives, MOL nautical coordinator and their Hamburg port agent – United Shipping Agency – played out various scenarios, to guarantee nautical-technical safety of the operations.

Thanks to the well co-ordinated work of the Harbour Master’s office, the pilots and HHLA the vessel reached the Port of Hamburg punctually, with the maximum permitted draft and was moored at CTB’s berth 5/6. There some 6,000 TEU will be discharged and 3,500 TEU loaded by Thursday morning, as MOL TRIUMPH is scheduled to leave the Elbe conurbation at 4.00 am on 18 May.

These quantities of cargo that have to be handled and moved on within the shortest possible timeframe, demand a superhuman effort from the terminal operator. “In recent years, HHLA, through investments in gantry-crane technology and storage capacity, has prepared with the objective of clearing mega-ships like the MOL TRIUMPH,” says Jens Hansen, Executive Board member and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA).

CTB possesses two high-performance berths designed to handle new 20,000-TEU containerships. They are equipped with Super Post Panamax quay cranes capable of handling vessels with 24 container rows on deck. 13 cranes of this type are in operation at CTB, 9 of them will operate in parallel on MOL TRIUMPH.

In 7 shifts, each 8-hours long, HHLA terminal staff will be working: crane drivers, ship planners, van-carrier drivers, organizers, supervisors and many more – virtually non-stop on the vessel. In total, HHLA has planned around 470 staff shifts, so that the MOL TRIUMPH can keep to its sailing schedule, leaving Hamburg again punctually.

MOL TRIUMPH and its sister-ships will be calling Hamburg within the FE2 service of THE Alliance between Asia and Europe. FE2 offers a fast, direct service between China and SE Asia with the Western Mediterranean and Northern Europe. The transit time eastbound between Hamburg and Hong Kong lies around 33 days, westbound between Singapore and Hamburg 24 days.

Julia Louppova:
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