The Port of Melbourne (PoM) has welcomed the CMS CGM Ural, the largest container ship by maximum capacity to call at the port.
The 299 metre long vessel is one of six currently deployed on the South-East Asia – Australia trade route called the ‘AAX1’. It commenced its 42-day round-trip in Malaysia, calling at Singapore. It then made its way around Australia’s south-west coast and arrived into Melbourne’s Webb Dock for handling by terminal operator Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT).
Named after the Ural mountain range that runs from north to south through western Russia, the vessel can carry up to 10,662 TEU1, with containers stacked up to 12 high on-deck.
Compared to the 4,500 TEU carried by the average container ship currently calling at PoM, this is a significant increase in load carrying capacity.
The CMA CGM Ural will spend 44 hours in Melbourne before departing for Sydney and Brisbane.
Brendan Bourke, Chief Executive Officer, Port of Melbourne feels the arrival of CMA CGM Ural is an indicator of the durability of Australia-Asia trade, despite the challenges presented by COVID19 and recent natural disasters. “PoM’s operations have undergone significant change over the years including automation, changes to supply chains, and to the infrastructure that supports them. It demonstrates the port’s ability to accommodate the next generation of global container vessels.”
“We’re always looking at ways to leverage the significant capability of our operations. We’ve developed a 30-year strategy that addresses PoM’s critical role as part of an interconnected network of physical infrastructure, commercial systems and land-uses,” he said.
Anthony Orgill, General Manager Asia ANZ Lines (ANL) commented, “By implementing larger container ships into our services, we can support clients operating between Australia, South East Asia and beyond. Today’s occasion marks a fantastic milestone as a business and as an industry, highlighting our ongoing evolution to accommodate increasing demand, population growth and productivity.”
Tim Vancampen, CEO, VICT said, “VICT is well equipped to accommodate this class of vessels ranging from 10,500 – 13,000 TEU and plans to further invest in the Port of Melbourne to accommodate the next generation of vessel ranging from 15,000 to 18,000 TEU. We will ensure that Port of Melbourne will continue to fulfil its role as the main gateway to Victoria, and consolidate and expand its position in the global shipping network.”