DP World’s flagship Jebel Ali Port, the largest man-made port in the world, Monday 07 January, celebrates the maiden visit of the world’s largest containership, CMA CGM Marco Polo, owned by the CMA CGM Group. This milestone reinforces Dubai’s and the port’s role as a regional gateway for the new generation of mega liner vessels.
The 16,020 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent container units) capacity vessel was welcomed by DP World officials and a commemorative plaque marking the occasion was presented by Mohammed Al Muallem, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, DP World, UAE Region, to Captain Igor Sikic, representing the French shipping line owner CMA CGM.
Mohammed Al Muallem, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, DP World, UAE Region, said: “We are delighted to welcome the Marco Polo to Jebel Ali. The vessel’s arrival heralds a new era of mega container liners. We stand ready to serve these giants and the even larger vessels currently under construction. Already today Jebel Ali Port is handling an average per week of three ultra-large container ships (ULCS) with a capacity of 14,000 TEU and above, and we anticipate that number will increase steadily in coming years.”
Nicolas Sartini, CMA CGM Group Senior Vice President Asia-Europe Lines, said: “It is a great pride for the CMA CGM Group to have launched this new vessel, which is the largest in the world. It shows the expertise of the Group’s teams, who are able to handle not only the very technical piloting of the ship but also its commercial operations. The introduction of this new 16,000 TEU vessel on the Europe to Middle East route reinforces CMA CGM willingness to bring the best into this market. CMA CGM would like to thank Dubai and DP World who made it possible for the world’s largest container vessel, the CMA CGM MARCO POLO to call in Jebel Ali.“
Mohammed Ali Ahmed, Chief Operating Officer, DP World UAE Region, said: “Jebel Ali Port is today equipped with a total of 22 berths and 78 cranes to serve containerships of any size currently in existence and on the order book. And we are adding new capacity including the brand new $850 million Container Terminal 3 set to open in 2014. The developments mean Jebel Ali Port will be able to handle ten of the next generation 18,000 TEU mega vessels at the same time.”
Marco Polo, the first in a series of three to be named after great explorers, measures 396 metres in length and 54 metres in width, and boasts a draft of 16 metres.
Sailing under the UK flag, the ocean carrier is on its way back to China after setting sail for Europe from Ningbo on 07 November 2012.
In December 2012, DP World Southampton received the CMA CGM Marco Polo, in its European maiden call.