The 228,400 dwt
MSC Diletta arrived at the U.K. container port on January 7 and remained on
dock until January 12. During the port call, Hutchinson Ports says a total of
23,773 TEU were handled.
Built in 2021, the
vessel is part of MSC’s new ultra-large class of containerships with a total
rated capacity of 23,964 TEU. Registered in Liberia, the MSC Diletta is 1,211
feet long with a 200-foot beam.
We are also seeing a trend to consolidate cargo on fewer ultra-large
“The size of
container ships has been increasing for many years and with growing demand for
services into the Port of Felixstowe we are seeing ever greater container
exchanges,” said Robert Ashton, Operations Director at the Port of Felixstowe.
“We are also seeing a trend to consolidate cargo on fewer ultra-large ships.”
The MSC Diletta operates on the 2M Alliance Griffin/AE55 Far East Asia
to North Europe service.
In mid-December, the group announced that they
planned to consolidate sailings on this and another route to address the long
wait times that vessels had been experiencing at the major ports. Starting in
2022, 2M reported that it would temporarily drop calls at Rotterdam from this
route and increase the port time in Felixstowe to handle an increased number of
boxes. Similarly, another Far East route will begin omitting calls at
Felixstowe increasing its time in Rotterdam.
In announcing the
switch in routes, 2M acknowledged that it meant fewer calls in Europe, but said
it believed it was the best response to reduce further disruptions across the
network. They began shifting bookings between the two routes and were using
Yantian in China to transship containers between vessels following the new
Maersk confirmed that some of its larger vessels were skipping
Felixstowe due to long wait times.
Felixstowe said it
welcomed the decision by the 2M to consolidate sailings and looked forward to
working with the companies during the period of the current high demand for Far
East imports to the U.K. Earlier in 2021, Maersk, one of the members of the 2M
Alliance, confirmed that some of its larger vessels were skipping Felixstowe
due to long wait times. They said that they had begun offloading U.K. bound
boxes in the continent’s ports and transshipping them to Felixstowe on feeder
highlighted efforts currently underway to further increase the port’s ability
to handle the world’s largest container ships. Harwich Haven Authority is
dredging the main approach channel to increase the depth from 47.5 feet to 52.5
feet. Work commenced last year and is due to be completed in 2023. The port is
also increasing the depth at its deep-water berths. Berth 7 was deepened to 54
feet in 2021 and Berth 6 will also be dredged to 54 feet in 2022.
They also plan to increase the depth to 59 feet at Berths 8&9.