Antwerp Port Authority very pleased with test call
by 18,000 TEU Mary Maersk

19 Oct 2013

The Port Authority is particularly pleased with the test trip by the Mary Maersk which with a capacity of 18,000 TEU is one of the largest container carriers in the world. This is the first time that a vessel of such capacity and dimensions has called at the port of Antwerp. A 'first' of this scale offers the indisputable proof that even the very largest container ships can call at Antwerp, declared Port Authority CEO Eddy Bruyninckx.

18,000 TEU Mary Maersk

The number of calls by ultra-large container ships (ULCS) has been rising sharply in the past few years. Already in the first nine months of this year 90 units of 13,000 TEU or more have put into the port, compared with 69 in the same period last year. That Antwerp is accessible to the largest ships in the world was made clear last summer by simulations carried out by the Hydrological Laboratory in Borgerhout. With the test trip by the Mary Maersk Antwerp has placed itself even more firmly on the map as a leading international port.

The test trip comes just a few days after the announcement by the P3 Network, an alliance of the three largest container shipping companies in the world, which has opted resolutely for Antwerp as its European platform.

In this context the importance of the recent deepening of the Scheldt cannot be emphasised strongly enough: "Since the deepening was completed the number of calls by vessels of 10,000 TEU, 13,000 TEU and up has really taken off. The return on this investment has proved to be enormous, generating direct added value of nearly 10 billion euros for our port and enabling it to further develop its competitive position," explained port alderman Marc Van Peel.

The Port Authority wishes to expressly thank all those who helped to make possible the safe and smooth test call at Antwerp by the Mary Maersk. "Just a few weeks ago we launched our new international branding campaign under the motto 'Everything is possible at the port of Antwerp.' Well, everything is possible in our port, not least because all the partners in the nautical and logistic chain from the Flemish and federal authorities to the private companies work so well together and view any kink in the chain as a challenge to which a solution must and will be found," Bruyninckx concluded.

Antwerp Port Authority, press release