Southampton port chiefs say tandem visit shows container terminal ready for gigantic vessels

Daily Echo: Two ‘mega-ships’ handled together at DP World Southampton: Hamburg Express and Jebel Ali Two ‘mega-ships’ handled together at DP World Southampton: Hamburg Express and Jebel Ali

TWO of the world’s largest ocean carriers have berthed in tandem at Southampton ’s container terminal for the first time ushering in “a new era” for the port.

The calls by Hapag-Lloyd’s Hamburg Express and UASC’s Jebel Ali, each capable of carrying more than 13,000 boxes, came as the port prepares to start redevelopment works so it can handle four of the next generation of ultra-large container ships at one time.

It was Hamburg Express’s maiden call to the container terminal, where productivity has risen by 20 per cent due to better working methods and a dynamic “can-do” culture.

The ships were welcomed by senior figures from DP World Southampton, which runs the container terminal, and docks owners Associated British Ports (ABP).

Doug Morrison, ABP’s port director in Southampton and Chris Lewis, managing director of DP World Southampton, said the calls ushered in “a new era” for the port, which supports an estimated 10,000 jobs in the region.

Mr Lewis said: “This is an historic occasion for the terminal, and one that illustrates how Southampton is geared up to handle these gigantic vessels.

“Against this exciting backdrop, we aim to be the container terminal of choice for customers in the UK and, as a result, secure and create valuable jobs throughout the supply chain, from the quayside to the supermarket shelves.

“Our customers rightly expect the best of operational capability at a deep-sea container terminal, as well as the best productivity, flexibility and fastest turnaround times.”

Mr Morrison added: “These giant container vessels, with all the economies of scale they bring, are predicted to account for more than half of the capacity of the world’s total container fleet by 2015.

“By way of personal experience, in my seven years here container ships have nearly doubled in TEU capacity.

“Shipping lines are drawn to Southampton because our location means a minimum deviation from the main shipping lanes thereby offering their customers faster transit times. This means that we are often the first and last port of call in and out of Northern Europe.

“With an inspirational ‘can-do’ culture, the DP World Southampton team is breaking ship and landside productivity records to ensure that Southampton stays ahead of its British competitors and ranks among the best in Europe.”

After months of red tape and a challenge by the rival port operator for Felixstowe, ABP Southampton was earlier this year issued with licences to carry out work to combine berths 201 and 202 and upgrade a 500m quay wall to create a new fourth berth for super-sized container ships.

The £150m expansion scheme, creating 200 jobs, is part of a plan to boost handling capacity from two million to 2.7 million 20ft container boxes by 2020.

Comments (5)

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1:18pm Thu 23 Aug 12

Buntylicious says...

What a refreshing change to hear a good news story about Southampton and its workers. Well done ABP.
What a refreshing change to hear a good news story about Southampton and its workers. Well done ABP. Buntylicious

4:43pm Thu 23 Aug 12

The Wickham Man says...

Let's not forget that Southy assured us these post panamax ships could never get into Southampton Water because he reckoned the channel was not deep enough. Of course he'll deny it but he kept telling us over and again that Southamptin could only ever be a feeder port because these ships couldn't get in etc etc.
In fact I spoke to a harbour pilot who told me that deep draught ships regularly use the port by timing their run in from the Nab so they come up the Water on a rising flood tide.
There's hope for Dibden Bay yet......
Let's not forget that Southy assured us these post panamax ships could never get into Southampton Water because he reckoned the channel was not deep enough. Of course he'll deny it but he kept telling us over and again that Southamptin could only ever be a feeder port because these ships couldn't get in etc etc. In fact I spoke to a harbour pilot who told me that deep draught ships regularly use the port by timing their run in from the Nab so they come up the Water on a rising flood tide. There's hope for Dibden Bay yet...... The Wickham Man

1:37pm Fri 24 Aug 12

aldermoor mush says...

just as it gets busy they announce the loss of 20 contractors jobs,also once London gateway opens it will be a ABP owned operation that will be mostly a feeder port
just as it gets busy they announce the loss of 20 contractors jobs,also once London gateway opens it will be a ABP owned operation that will be mostly a feeder port aldermoor mush

3:51pm Fri 24 Aug 12

Andy Locks Heath says...

Why would Southampton feed the Thames Gateway or vice versa? That makes no sense. It also overlooks that Southampton has a W10 gauge fast rail link to the West Coast Main Line and 24 train paths per day. It also overlooks that far east ships heading to Thames Gateway have to in effect sail past Southampton and keep going for another 8 hours or so. allowing for turnround that's nearly a day lost on every round trip or a 2% loss of efficiency.
Why would Southampton feed the Thames Gateway or vice versa? That makes no sense. It also overlooks that Southampton has a W10 gauge fast rail link to the West Coast Main Line and 24 train paths per day. It also overlooks that far east ships heading to Thames Gateway have to in effect sail past Southampton and keep going for another 8 hours or so. allowing for turnround that's nearly a day lost on every round trip or a 2% loss of efficiency. Andy Locks Heath

5:43pm Tue 28 Aug 12

phil maccavity says...

aldermoor mush wrote:
just as it gets busy they announce the loss of 20 contractors jobs,also once London gateway opens it will be a ABP owned operation that will be mostly a feeder port
The whole of the Asia-European container business is struggling so container volumes through most European ports has reduced.
Presumably this has affected the labour requirement in Southampton at least for the time being.
London Gateway is a DPWorld operation.
DPWorld is contractually bound to Soton for at least another 10 years.
After this |ABP may take full control of the Soton container operations
.
[quote][p][bold]aldermoor mush[/bold] wrote: just as it gets busy they announce the loss of 20 contractors jobs,also once London gateway opens it will be a ABP owned operation that will be mostly a feeder port[/p][/quote]The whole of the Asia-European container business is struggling so container volumes through most European ports has reduced. Presumably this has affected the labour requirement in Southampton at least for the time being. London Gateway is a DPWorld operation. DPWorld is contractually bound to Soton for at least another 10 years. After this |ABP may take full control of the Soton container operations . phil maccavity

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