One of the largest ships afloat is expected to call on Sri Lanka for the first time, setting a new benchmark and record for the Port of Colombo, terminal operatorCICT announced this week.
The company said it had secured a commitment for a scheduled service by the Panama registered MSC Maya, at 19,224 teus, the largest container ship to ever berth in Colombo.
The 395.49 metre (1,297 foot) vessel is expected at the Colombo South Terminal managed by CICT on Friday 16th September, replacing a smaller vessel owned by the global container shipping company Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) Switzerland.
“The arrival of the MSC Maya in Colombo is a perfect example for the rationale for a deep water terminal of the scale of the Colombo International Container Terminal,” CICT CEO Ray Ren said. “It was precisely to attract such Ultra Large Container Carriers that CICT fast-tracked the completion of the terminal, enabling it to commence operations 32 months ahead of schedule. We are now seeing the results of that achievement.”
CICT General Manager Commercial and Marketing Tissa Wickramasinghe said the company has introduced global best practices in terminal operations and set productivity benchmarks for the South Asian region, complementing the state-of-the-art infrastructure it built, and continues to provide international standard service delivery.
CICT’s commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by converting its yard cranes to fully electric cranes is also a key factor in attracting these ultra-large container carriers to the Port of Colombo, he said. Additionally, the company has introduced several IT-related innovations such as e-boatnotesand a mobile app which generate cost savings and enhance efficiency for stakeholders in the industry.
“The Port of Colombo achieved double digit growth in 2014 after a lapse of over ten years with CICT coming on stream, and this year we are able to sustain double-digit growth due to our ability to attract more and more ULCC vessels such as MSC Maya to the Port of Colombo,” Wickramasinghe added. “The benefit of these ship calls cascades down to the otherterminals in the port,reinforcing Colombo’s status as major transhipment hub.”
Built in 2015 by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, MSC Maya has a draft of 16 metres (52.49 feet) and a moulded beam of 59 metres (194 feet). It has a maximum speed of 22.8 knots (42 kmph). The vessel is calling on Colombo as part of the Swan Service operating on a port rotation of Bremerhaven> Rotterdam> Suez> Colombo> Singapore> Hong Kong> Tianjin Xingang>Quingdao>Busan> Shanghai> Ningbo>Yantian>TanjungPelepas> Algeciras> Felixstowe.
CICT closed 2015 with an impressive 1.561 million TEUs, with the ULCC (Ultra Large Container Carrier) and VLCC (Very Large Container Carrier) segments making a 67% contribution to that volume.
As a member of China Merchants Port Holdings Company Ltd., the world’s second largest global terminal operator by throughput, CICT has access to a wide network of 72 terminals operated and invested by CMPH across the globe, none of which are in any form of competition with the Port of Colombo. This is a unique advantage to boost the status and recognition of the port as a common user transhipment hub.
CICT has already received some of the largest vessels plying the Asia-Europe routes. They include MSC New York (16,652 TEU), CMA CGM Marco Polo (16,020 TEU) and Edith Maersk, Estelle Maersk, Ebba Maersk, Elly Maersk and Eugene Maersk, each 14,770 TEUs. Many of these cargo ships are now regular callers at CICT.