Largest container vessel calls at Walvis Bay
27 April 2020 | Infrastructure
Immanuel Hanabeb; Namport;“…the country is in a position to compete with other ports.”
The Maersk Sheerness on Friday became the largest vessel yet to call at the Port of Walvis Bay.
Plans to facilitate the docking of the Maersk Sheerness began mid-2019.
The container vessel measuring 335.41m in length, had an estimated 400 containers on board. It arrived on Friday morning and departed later the same day.
With its 7500 TEU capacity, Maersk Sheerness is similar to a 9000 TEUs class vessel.
Namport’s executive for commercial services, Immanuel Hanabeb, said that the arrival of the Maersk Sheernes is of great significance to the port authority as well as the country.
“This is not only consistent with our values and drive to become Africa’s number one port authority but also places Namibia in a more competitive position as Namport can accommodate bigger vessels.”
Hanabeb said that the shipping industry adopted a new modus operandi of using bigger vessels as opposed to multiple small vessels to transport cargo.
“This is done with the aim of saving operational costs and consolidating resources. Thanks to the new N$4 billion container terminal, the country is in a position to compete with other ports and accommodate such large vessels.”
Namport’s acting chief executive Kavin Harry said the lengthiest vessel previously accommodated was about 290 metres.
“Namport took a giant leap by investing in the construction of a state-of-the-art container terminal and by equipping and preparing its staff members with the required skills for similar jobs. We started offloading on Friday morning at 09:00. Our ship to shore cranes now move 35 to 40 containers per hour.”
Harry emphasised that Namport has strict regulations in place since the outbreak of Covid-19.
“With an operation like this, there is limited human interaction. Where we interact with the ship crew, we ensure that we observe health protocols and regulations at all times. We are not in any way compromising the health of our people.”