Home » Breaking News, Maritime » CMA CGM’s ultra-large ship makes first call at Vietnam’s Cai Mep

CMA CGM’s ultra-large vessel Laperouse made its first call on December 19, 2011 at the Cai Mep International Terminal (CMIT) in Ba Ria, Vung Tau Province, in Vietnam.

The 13,830-TEU ship is the largest container vessel to call at a Vietnamese port, signaling the shift to ultra-large ships serving the Asia-Europe trades, CMIT said.

Nguyen Hong Truong, Vietnam’s Vice Minister  of Transport; Do Hong Thai, deputy director of Vinamarine; and Tran Minh Sanh, Ba Ria-Vung Tau provincial president led a welcome contingent at Cai Mep for the arrival of the Laperouse.

This is the second time that a large ship from CMA CGM docked at the Vietnamese port. Earlier this year, the 11,400-TEU ship Columbia, one of the world’s largest cargo vessels, also anchored at CMIT.

The Cai Mep call of the Laperouse, which was in transit from Asia to north Europe, is “a precursor to the upgrade in size of all CMA CGM’s vessels calling in Cai Mep when the existing FAL3 call is replaced by the larger vessels operating on the FAL1 string in March 2012,” the CMIT said.

Jean-Charles Tassoni, general director of CMA CGM Vietnam, said that ultra-large container ships of 14,000 TEUs or larger were rapidly becoming the staple of the Asia-Europe trades.

Nguyen Xuan Ky, deputy general director of CMIT, also noted the continuing flow of ultra-large container ships into the Asia-Europe trades, which would allow them “to put to good use our super post-Panamax cranes which are designed and built specifically to handle vessels of this size.”

He added that when the fifth super post-Panamax quay crane is delivered in January 2012, “CMIT will be ideally placed to handle these huge vessels.”

“With Cai Mep being the last load port in the future FAL1 rotation before sailing direct to Southampton, the need for deep water access and a terminal equipped to handle these leviathans has never been greater,” Tassoni said.

CMIT, established on January 26, 2007, is a joint venture between the Vietnam-based Saigon Port, the state-owned Vietnam National Shipping Lines, and The Netherlands-based APM Terminals.

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