Yesterday evening at around 10 p.m. the MV “Maersk Laguna” was the first container vessel to tie up at the quayside of the EUROGATE Container Terminal Wilhelmshaven, Germany’s only deep-water container terminal.
The mooring of the Maersk container ship is a milestone and marks the official start of operations of the container terminal, which is being inaugurated today with a festive celebration. As is customary in the shipping business, terminal managing director Mikkel Andersen and sales manager Torsten Meyer greeted the captain on board and handed over a welcoming gift. The mooring of the “Maersk Laguna” is unscheduled. However, Maersk Line has included Wilhelmshaven in the transport routes of two of its scheduled container services: the AE1 Far East service and the CRX South America service. Both services will now regularly call at the new container terminal once a week. The next vessel is already due next week on 24 September 2012.
Built in 2012, the MV “Maersk Laguna” is 300 m long and 45 m wide and has a capacity of 7,450 TEUs. Loading and unloading of the vessel started early Friday morning. The ship will leave the port again at around 6 p.m.
“We are very pleased everything has gone so smoothly,” says Marcel Egger, managing director of the EUROGATE Container Terminal Wilhelmshaven. “The mooring of the “Maersk Laguna” is an important milestone for us. Initially the container terminal will have a higher share of transhipment business. The loading side first needs to develop. It’s only natural that that will take a certain time. The market participants first have to adjust to the new port and organise their loads accordingly. But we are very confident that over the long term Wilhelmshaven will be a big success.”
“The staff at EUROGATE have been working towards and eagerly awaiting this moment for a long time,” says Mikkel Andersen, responsible as managing director of the terminal for operations. “Now at last it’s here and everybody is excited about it. With the EUROGATE Container Terminal Wilhelmshaven we have a highly productive, modern transhipment facility and we are determined to prove that this is the case.”
Dredging Today Staff, September 21, 2012; Image: JWP