Monday, October 7, 2019

Biggest Ever Container Ship to Call in the UK Arrives in Port of Felixstowe

MSC Vessel Arrives After Maiden Voyage from China
Shipping News Feature

UK – When the MSC Isabella hove into the Port of Felixstowe this week she became the largest container ship to make a cargo call in the UK, after completing her maiden voyage from the north of China. However in a race which has seen ever larger box ships successively exchange titles the Isabella sets a new standard in container shipping, in particular in terms of environmental performance.

Built at the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) shipyard in South Korea and delivered in August 2019, MSC Isabella is the sister ship of MSC Gülsün, the world’s largest container ship, and forms part of a new class of 23,000+ TEU vessels to be added in 2019-2020 to the global shipping network of MSC.

At around 400 metres long and 61 metres wide, MSC Isabella can carry 23,656 TEU and is significantly longer than the Empire State Building is tall. Bigger ships generally emit less CO2 per container carried, helping companies moving goods on MSC’s services between Asia and Europe to lower the carbon footprint of their supply chains. Included in that TEU tally MSC Isabella can carry more than 2,000 refrigerated containers, boosting the trade of food, drink, pharmaceutical and other chilled and frozen items between Asia and Europe.

A ceremony held today (7 October 2019) at the Port of Felixstowe marked the first time that MSC has officially named a container ship in the UK and comes in a big year for the Swiss shipping group coming as it does after seeing the company’s world-class cruise ship, MSC Bellissima, become the first MSC cruise ship to be named in the UK at a ceremony hosted by Holly Willoughby in Southampton in March.

As a family firm which has seen phenomenal growth in the past few decades MSC vessels are named after relatives of MSC employees, and the scale of expansion was summed up by Dan Everitt, Managing Director at MSC UK, who commented:

“Today is a truly momentous occasion for MSC UK and I feel so proud to stand alongside our people, our customers and suppliers to witness not only the biggest ever cargo call to the Port of Felixstowe, but MSC’s first ever vessel naming ceremony here in the UK. When I first joined MSC in 1984 at just 17 years old, the largest MSC vessel at that time was the MSC Alexandra at 650 TEU.

”The MSC Isabella is more than 23,000 TEU larger which just shows the sheer scale and growth of MSC and the maritime industry over the past three decades. It’s a really exciting time for MSC in the UK having recently expanded our local headquarters through the acquisition of a third building in Ipswich, Suffolk and we’re extremely grateful to the MSC Group for their global investment and commitment to UK operations.”

MSC Isabella’s improved energy efficiency and fuel economy ensure that MSC is on track to meet international 2030 environmental policy targets set by the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) ahead of time. The ship features a remarkable approach to energy efficiency with the shape of the bow designed to enhance energy efficiency by reducing hull resistance. State-of-the-art engineering minimises wind resistance, resulting in lower fuel consumption. She is also equipped with a UN IMO-approved hybrid Exhaust Gas Cleaning System and has the option of switching to low-Sulphur fuel, or to be adapted for liquefied natural gas in the future which complies with an upcoming marine fuel regulation in 2020.

Ensuring crew and cargo safety remains MSC’s priority, the new class of ships are equipped with a new dual-tower fire-fighting system with high-capacity pumps to further enhance the safety of seafarers on board and protect cargo carried across the whole deck of the ship. MSC Isabella, together with her 10 sister ships, are also all designed to meet the next steps in digital shipping. Enabling fast data transmission to shore and connection for smart containers help make the shipping experience more transparent, safe and reliable for customers.