The Thai port of Laem Chabang has received its first mega-container ship marking a significant expansion of the country’s container shipping capabilities
MSC Mina, a 23,656-TEU box ship, made its maiden call at Laem Chabang, Thailand, in late June, and the director of port operations called the visit a ’milestone’.
Hutchinson Ports, Thailand and southeast Asia managing director, Stephen Ashworth said “It is a milestone record as it is the first time a mega-vessel of over 23,000 TEU has called in Thailand. This clearly demonstrates our terminal efficiency as well as capabilities in servicing such mega vessels and we look forward to welcoming further vessels of similar size in the future.”
MSC has been doing business in Thailand since 2001 and has continued grow its presence in the local market over the years. In November, it opened a new, expanded office in Laem Chabang to provide a wider range of commercial services to local shippers.
While it remains a significantly smaller port in terms of container volume than its near neighbours in Singapore and China, the port of Laem Chabang has steadily climbed the World Shipping Council’s list of largest container ports by volume over the last five years. Sitting just behind the port of Long Beach, California in the US, Laem Chabang is the 21st biggest container port worldwide and is likely to be in the top 20 global ports by container volume in the near future.
MSC Mina is currently deployed on MSC’s weekly ‘Lion-Jaguar’ pendulum service, facilitating imports from Europe and shipments within Asia and to the west coast of the United States. The service started calling in Thailand in April 2020.
The vessel belongs to the Mediterranean Shipping Company’s latest and biggest Gülsün-class of 23,000+ TEU ships that had been delivered and deployed into MSC’s global shipping network in 2019 and 2020.
MSC said the 400 m by 61 m MSC Mina can transport the equivalent of about 384M pairs of shoes or 47,312 cars. The vessel is also equipped to carry more than 2,000 refrigerated containers which can help transport essential goods, food and beverage, pharmaceutical products, perishables and other chilled or frozen items.
Port rotation in the ‘Lion-Jaguar’ service include Busan, Ningbo, Shanghai, Yantian, Tanjung Pelepas, Sines, Antwerp, Le Havre, Felixstowe, Algeciras, Singapore, Laem Chabang, Nansha, Yantian, Shanghai, Long Beach and Oakland.
The company has also just launched a new ‘Seahorse’ service in July 2020, which provides direct connections and comprehensive port coverage of eight countries in Asia, including Thailand.
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