Maiden Voyage for 16,000 TEU French Giant

CMA CGM Marco Polo 16,000 TEU container ship

The world’s largest containership sailed on her maiden voyage with a first load of freight from Ningbo, China. The Marco Polo is at 16,000 TEU currently the biggest box carrier and is the first of a series of three similar dimension vessels that will all be named after great explorers. The delivery of the two next vessels is expected in 2013. This first voyage, w will be used partly to test the ship, the largest in service until Maersk’s 18,000teu Triple-E vessels start to be deployed next year.

Owned by French liner group CMA CGM she will be operated on the company’s French Asia Line service’s FAL 1 rotation where all the group’s largest vessels operate on a fixed-day, weekly connection between Central and South China, the main exporting zones of the country, and Northern Europe. The direct service to Southampton and to Hamburg offers European importers the fastest transit times of the market.

FAL1 is part of a global network of 8 CMA CGM services connecting Asia to Europe Atlantic, which the company claims to be the most thorough offer on the market, and which is based on 29 vessels of 11,400 to 16,000 TEUs. Nicolas Sartini, CMA CGM Group Senior Vice President Asia-Europe Lines, said of the latest offering:

“It is with great pride that the CMA CGM Group launches 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. Our entire network of 400 agencies all around the world is active to ensure the successful launching of this ship.

“The CMA CGM Marco Polo is going to join the FAL service, the backbone of the Group’s network of lines. This launching reinforces the Group’s strategy, which began 20 years ago, with the opening of its own offices in China, and continues today with 34 services going from China to Europe, to North and South America, to Australia and Africa, i.e. one departure every 5 hours. To this must also be added the 20 weekly services of our subsidiary Cheng Lie Navigation, the Intra-Asia specialist.”

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