World’s largest container ship calls at Colombo Port in Sri Lanka
Daily FT: MV Ever Ace, the first of Evergreen Line’s 24,000 TEU class container ships and the largest container vessel in the world, made the inaugural call at the Port of Colombo’s (POC), Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT) on 5 October.
The A-type vessel is 400 metres in length and 61.5 metres wide, has a design draft of 14.5 metres and can cruise at speeds up to 23 knots. With a nominal carrying capacity of 23,992 TEU, the MV Ever Ace is one of the largest container ships in the world.
MV Ever Ace commenced sailing on 28 July and deployed on Evergreen Line’s CEM service in Asia-Europe trade, calling at Qingdao, Shanghai, Ningbo, Taipei Port, Yantian, Rotterdam, Hamburg and Felixstowe on her maiden voyage.
Evergreen Line’s A-type vessels are equipped with various eco-friendly and fuel-efficient designs.
As part of Evergreen Line’s fleet renewal plan, the carrier has ordered 12 A-type container ships. In addition to MV Ever Ace, her 11 sister ships of similar capacity are planned to join Evergreen Line’s Asia–Europe service upon delivery.
Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Chairman Capt. Nihal Keppetipola, present at the occasion, said that at a time the world was facing a major health crisis with the current COVID-19 pandemic which had created a major impact in the logistics industry, the inaugural call of the world’s largest container ship, is a significant milestone and pride for Port of Colombo. He thanked the Evergreen Shipping Agency Lanka Ltd. (Hemas Group), the local agent for the confidence placed in SLPA and the Port of Colombo.
He further stated that he wished to thank the Minister of Ports and Shipping Rohitha Abeygunawardena, and also the Secretary to the Ministry for the constant encouragement provided and also the employees of SLPA for the support given in ports and shipping related activities.
The SLPA Chairman thanked all the trade unions for standing by him always and afforded a special thanks to the CEO and officials of the Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT) for working very closely with SLPA.
CICT is the first deep water terminal in South Asia equipped with facilities to handle the largest vessels afloat.
CICT CEO Jack Huang stated that he was delighted and honoured to have berthed MV Ever Ace at CICT with state-of-the-art equipment to keep up with the growing demands of the shipping industry. Huang thanked the Chairman and the staff of SLPA for their excellent support rendered to CICT at all times who has always worked in tandem with the SLPA promoting Port of Colombo as a vital player in the global shipping arena.
The SLPA Chairman said, keeping in line with the President’s policy framework, SLPA had embarked on several new, short and long term projects, with the commencement of East and West container terminals and, connected logistics enhancement projects in the short term, and the Colombo North Port project in the long term will add around 20 million TEUs to the current seven million TEU throughput.
“This is in fact planned and activated, encompassing the Indian $ 140 billion Sagaramala Project and China’s US$ 1 trillion One Belt One Road Project, where Sri Lanka is in the centre. With the development of Galle, Hambantota and Trincomalee harbour projects, Sri Lanka will be the maritime hub of South Asia without a doubt,” the SLPA Chairman added.
Sri Lankan authorities are focused on developing the island as a maritime hub in the Indian Ocean region. The island’s geographical positioning and economic expansion have helped boost Sri Lanka’s chances of becoming a maritime hub in the South Asian region. Given the many trade agreements as well as concessions enjoyed by the country, Sri Lanka is fast growing as a logistical hub with many business/investment opportunities following the ongoing port and shipping sector development programme. All these have increased the business potential in Sri Lanka’s maritime industry with growing business/investment opportunities in the industry.
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