Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Freight from Container Ship Launches New Deep Water Port a Little Early

Unexpected Opening for London Gateway
Shipping News Feature

UK – The arrival of a 10,000 TEU containership has given an early birth to the world’s newest deep water port when London Gateway, DP World's newest box handling facility, opened up a little early to offer a berth of its own to the ZIM Rotterdam, which had encountered a few problems en route to mainland Europe and requested the unexpected stop to undertake some required maintenance. The port had not expected to begin freight handling operations until a little later in the year.

The giant container vessel was the largest ever cargo ship to enter the River Thames and offloaded containers to the quayside where Wincanton Transport became the first road haulage outfit to receive her import cargo. Following the discharge of cargo operations and required maintenance, the ZIM Rotterdam was to continue according to her original rotation to other ports in Europe and onward to Asia via the Suez Canal and ZIM’s import customers were advised they needed to contact their usual agents with customer enquiries. Rafi Ben Ari, ZIM VP Shipping said:

"While the call to DP World’s London Gateway was not planned in advance, this is certainly a happy coincidence. We are proud to call at the state-of-the-art terminal and we look forward to future cooperation with DP World London Gateway.”

The unexpected call will doubtless have been welcomed by senior staff at London Gateway as it offered the chance to check out some of their systems in a slightly pressurised situation. The port received only two days notice of the ships arrival and a spokesman for London Gateway said:

“When we got the call from ZIM we realised that a solution was needed quickly and so we just got on with the job straight away. Everyone knows we are not opening London Gateway until November and that has not changed, but we weren’t going to let ZIM down when they needed support. So, we will welcome ZIM to London Gateway to allow the ship to undertake essential work that is needed before it can continue on just as soon as possible.”

Photo: A first for London Gateway.