Maersk Line’s latest addition to its fleet, Maersk Madrid, called at the Modern Terminals facility at the Port of Hong Kong on Sunday, 9 July. With a capacity of 20,568 teu, the Madrid Maersk is one of the largest liner vessels in the world.
Peter Levesque, Group managing director of Modern Terminals Limited said: “Madrid Maersk’s maiden call at Hong Kong highlights the operating capabilities of the port as an international maritime hub and reinforces Modern Terminals’ competitiveness as a major player in the Region.
“This is an exciting moment for our company having made significant investments in our quay and landside infrastructure over the past two years to cater for the next generation of mega vessels. We have also been actively exploring new and innovative ways to gain additional operating efficiencies across the Hong Kong port, in order to provide greater value to global carriers like Maersk Line when they call Hong Kong.”
Robbert van Trooijen, Maersk Line’s Asia-Pacific CEO said: “We are very proud of the Madrid Maersk, which is the first in a series of our 2nd generation Triple-E vessels. To deliver on our growth strategy we need new capacity. Our new vessels complement our fleet and will replace older and less efficient tonnage. They provide efficiency and economy of scale in specific trades and add flexibility across geographies.”
Mr van Trooijen added: ”Hong Kong remains an important location to the A.P. Moller Maersk Group. Hong Kong’s close proximity to China has been instrumental in driving Hong Kong’s development over the years. Hong Kong has long been a maritime hub with extensive marine services based in Hong Kong. We believe that Hong Kong will continue to be important to global shipping as a result.”
The vessel is deployed on Maersk’s AE2 service with a port rotation of Hong Kong, Yantian, Xingang, Qingdao, Busan, Shanghai, Ningbo, Yantian, Tanjung Pelepas, Algeciras, Felixstowe, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Algeciras, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Maersk’s decision to include Hong Kong in its AE2 service may spark fresh debate about how the realtively low air draft at the Tsing Ma Bridge inhibits uitralarge container vessel traffic to the port. Based on the 53m restriction at the Tsing Ma Bridge, the Madrid Maersk is presumably using the alternative route through the Tonggu Channel.