Rotterdam Maasvlakte II – World’s first Remote-Controlled Container Port

APM Terminals has released drone footage of its Rotterdam Maasvlakte II terminal. The terminal set a loading record last month on the Madison Maersk with 17,152 TEU loaded, including ten high above deck stowage.

The facility launches the world’s first container terminal to utilize remotely-controlled ship-to-shore (STS) gantry cranes. The cranes move containers between vessels and the landside fleet of 62 battery-powered Lift-Automated Guided Vehicles (Lift-AGVs) which transport containers between the quay and the container yard, including barge and on-dock rail facilities.

The Lift-AGV’s also represent the world’s first series of AGV’s that can lift and stack a container. A fleet of 54 Automated Rail-Mounted Gantry Cranes (ARMGs) then positions containers in the yard in a high-density stacking system. The terminal’s power requirements are provided by wind-generated electricity, enabling terminal operations, which produce no CO2, emissions or pollutants, and which are also considerably quieter than conventional diesel-powered facilities.

The facility, constructed on land entirely reclaimed from the North Sea, has been designed as a multi-modal hub to reduce truck traffic in favor of barge and rail connections to inland locations.

Construction began in May 2012, with the first commercial vessel call in February 2015.

2015 and 2016 are the years of ramping up operations and refining the terminal operating system. The 86 hectare (212 acre) deep-water terminal features 1,000 meters of quay, on-dock rail, and eight fully-automated electric-powered STS cranes, with an annual throughput capacity of 2.7 million TEU.

At planned full build-out, the terminal will cover 180 hectares (445 acres) and offer 2,800 meters of deep-sea quay (19.65 meters/64.5 feet depth), with an annual throughput capacity of six million TEUs. Source: Maritime Executive


19,000 TEU boxships – thats the capacity for now say Ship Owners

According to observers, some of the ships that appear in the table above (Alphaliner) with a flow rate of 19 official thousand TEUs could  in fact could also load a thousand more. []

According to observers, some of the ships that appear in the table above (Alphaliner) with a flow rate of 19 official thousand TEUs could in fact could also load a thousand more. []

Containership capacity growth appears to have reached a plateau for now, with no owners or operators looking to go beyond 19,000 teu. Nevertheless, technical experts expect larger containerships to eventually enter service, once infrastructure constraints have been overcome.

At the moment, though, the biggest ships in the pipeline are for China Shipping, with CSCL Globe due for delivery in November reported to have a nominal capacity of 19,000 teu. United Arab Shipping Co has 18,800 teu vessels on order; Mediterranean Shipping Co will soon be receiving 18,400 teu ships, while Maersk’s Triple-Es have a nominal intake of 18,270 teu. CMA CGM has recently upgraded ships on order, which will now be around 17,800 teu. What they all have in common is their length, just under 400 m, which is regarded as the practical maximum for now, according to Marcus Ihms, containership expert at classification society DNV GL.

Beam is another potential limiting factor, with cranes needed to handle broader ships, and the greater rolling forces of a very wide vessel making it inadvisable to load cargo on deck. Where designers can obtain additional capacity within those limitations is through the siting of the engine room or accommodation block. Moving the engine room, for example, can create as much as 250 teu of extra cargo space.

What is clear, he told the Containerisation International-Lloyd’s List Global Liner Shipping conference in Hamburg, are the economies of scale of the larger ships that are now being delivered. The slot costs of, say, a 21,000 teu ship, are as much as 10% lower than for a 14,000 teu vessel.

An 18,000 teu ship would still have cheaper slot costs than a 14,000 teu vessel even at 90% rather than 100% utilisation. Although ship designers have been talking about vessels of up to 24,000 teu, Mr Ihms told delegates that no carriers were thought to be looking beyond 19,000 teu right now.

However, ships of more than 400 m have been built in the past, most notably the 564,650 dwt ultra large crude carrier Jahre Viking, which was 458 m long. ER Schiffahrt chief executive Hermann Klein told Containerisation International that he expected ship sizes to continue growing, albeit not as rapidly as in recent years Dr Klein, the former head of Germanischer Lloyd and one of the first in the world to predict the arrival of 18,000 teu ships, anticipates that containerships will eventually exceed 400 m in length and so go beyond 19,000 teu. “There is no technical limitation,” he said.

But first, the ports need to be ready to handle the next generation of containerships. That will require larger cranes, dredging, higher bridges in some cases, and other infrastructure investments. Source:

“Captain Phillips” lands Six Oscar Nominations

phillips-oscarsThe blockbuster film “Captain Phillips” has lived up to the hype, receiving a total of 6 Oscar Nominations including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for the first-time Somali actor who played the pirate leader, Muse.

“Captain Phillips”, directed by Paul Greengrass and starring Tom Hanks, was released in October and tells the story of the 2009 Maersk Alabama hijacking in the Indian Ocean and subsequent kidnapping of the captain, Capt. Richard Phillips.

Perhaps the biggest talk of today is the nomination of Barkhad Abdi in the Best Support Actor category for his role as Muse, the leader of a band of Somali pirates who seized the MV Maersk Alabama. Born in Somalia and raised in Yemen, Abdi moved to the U.S. as a teenager and was living and working as a limo driver in Minnesota when he was cast for the role, his first acting job ever.

Tom Hanks, on the other, did not receive any nominations for his role as Captain Richard Phillips.

While the film has been the focus of some controversy over the Captain’s decision to sail close to the Somali coast, overall it has taken center stage in promoting a strong U.S. Merchant marine, not to mention hailed by critics.

“The courage shown by Captain Phillips and his crew during their ordeal is a shining example of the brave American mariners who receive the best training in the world,” said Tom Allegretti, Chairman of the American Maritime Partnership. “American mariners continually prepare for various operational challenges and are dedicated to the highest standards of safety and security. When it comes to the world-class training of America’s Merchant Marine, Captain Phillips and his crew are the rule rather than the exception.”

“Captain Phillips” also received four Golden Globe nominations, including Best Actor drama, Best Supporting Actor drama, Best Director and Best Picture, but failed to take home any awards last Sunday. Source:

Discovery Channel to air six-part series on construction of the world’s biggest container ship

Triple E - Picture courtesy: Mearsk

Triple E – Picture courtesy: Maersk


A TV channel is to broadcast a series of six programmes showing how the world’s largest vessels – Maersk Line’s 18,000teu Triple-E containerships were built.

Maersk has given the Discovery Channel access to every stage of the Triple-E build; from the design of the vessel’s unique hull to the construction of the enormous engines and propellers, from the environmental improvements and safety systems to the ship’s naming ceremony and maiden voyage on the Asia-Europe route.

The series will also focus on lives of some of the people involved, including the naval architect, the site team supervising the build and the captain as he prepares for the maiden voyage.

“The Triple-E is an exceptional ship, in terms of its size as well as its energy saving technology and design. We’re excited about these vessels and proud to have Discovery Channel as a partner for showing how it is built and the people and passion behind it,” says Morten Engelstoft, Chief Operating Officer, Maersk Line.

The World’s Largest Ship will air on Discovery Channel in November, but to save you waiting all that time, Maersk Line has made available a time lapse video of the building of the Triple-E, that consists of 50,000 photos taken over a three-month period. Click here to watch video clip!