CMA CGM ANTOINE DE SAINT EXUPERY became the largest containership ever to call Hamburg early on Thursday, 15th March, after calling Southampton and Dunkirk on her maiden voyage
The 400m long vessel, with a maximum intake of 20,776 TEU, exchanged almost 11,000 TEYU at HHLA Container Terminal Burchardkai, 7,000 TEU off and 4,000 TEU on. Up to nine cranes of CTB’s 13 cranes with 24-wide booms were deployed. HHLA planned in 470 7-8 hour personnel shifts – crane drivers, stowage planners, straddle carrier drivers, foremen, supervisors and others to work on the ship.
“By investing in state-of-the-art gantry cranes and storage technology, we prepared ourselves at an early stage for this growth in ship size,” said Jens Hansen, HHLA Executive Board member and Chief Operating Officer. “But we are not only making progress on the quayside. At the same time, we have implemented measures to deal with peak loads of incoming/departing containers caused by the arrival of VLCVs reliably and securely.
"Last November, for example, a slot booking procedure for trucks was introduced that has already successfully overcome numerous ‘peak situations’ and is increasingly gaining acceptance from all those involved. In addition, the successful expansion of the Altenwerder rail terminal and the one planned for this year at the Burchardkai rail terminal will consolidate our integration with European hinterland rail services.”
According to Andreas Brummermann, Deputy Port Captain, since the first calls in 2015, the number of calls in Hamburg by vessels with a slot capacity of over 18,000 TEU has tripled. In 2017, there were 102 calls by VLCVs in the 18,000-20,000+ TEU segment, 52% up on 2016. "This trend involves challenges, not just for Hamburg, but for ports worldwide," he said.