MSC Isabella, one of the new ships from the MSC Gulsun-Class — currently the world’s largest series of container ships — has recently made its maiden call at the Port of Singapore making it the biggest container ship to call at the world’s top transhipment hub.
In a statement, the shipping firm said MSC Isabella has a total capacity of 23,656 TEUs. It measures around 400 metres long and 61 metres wide, can carry up to 24 rows of containers, with a height of 13 tiers on deck.
Describing the ship, MSC said its length exceeds that of the Eiffel Tower and it can transport the equivalent of about 384 million pairs of shoes.
Singapore is the ship’s first port-of-call in Asia after sailing back from Europe. The ship was delivered to MSC in August 2019 and was built at the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) shipyard in South Korea.
“Our biggest and most energy-efficient ships are being deployed on the Asia-Europe trade, which demonstrates our continued commitment to this largest and busiest trade corridor. We are delighted to welcome the first port call in Singapore by MSC Isabella from our largest Gülsün-Class of ships,” said YJ Tan, regional managing director for MSC Asia Regional Office in Singapore.
Aside from its huge capacity, the vessel is equipped to carry more than 2,000 refrigerated containers, boosting the trade of goods such as food & beverage, pharmaceutical products, perishables and other chilled or frozen items between Asia and Europe.
Eddy Ng, managing director for PSA Singapore Terminals 2, welcomed the arrival of MSC Isabella at MSC-PSA Asia Terminal in Singapore, which he said, demonstrates PSA's capability to efficiently handle the world’s largest container vessels, further enhancing the status of the Port of Singapore as a premier global transhipment and logistics hub.
"MSC Isabella belongs to the series of the most energy-efficient ships in MSC’s fleet of container vessels, with the lowest carbon footprint per container carried by design. A combination of the latest green technologies and greater economies of scale have helped reduce energy requirements over time. For example, the optimised shape of the ship’s bulbous bow and rudder bulb lower resistance while sailing, further enhancing energy efficiency," the shipping company said.
Starting next year, the international shipping industry has been mandated by the United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) to reduce sulphur dioxide emissions to help improve air quality through the 2020 Sulphur cap enhanced regulation.
MSC said the mega-ship, Isabella, is already fitted with the technical solution to comply with this new regulation, an IMO approved hybrid Exhaust Gas Cleaning System. It also has the option of switching to low-sulphur fuel or to be adapted for liquefied natural gas (LNG) use in the future.
The MSC Isabella is among the 11 ships of over 23,000 TEU to be delivered to MSC from 2019 to 2020 to be deployed on MSC’s Swan service. The vessel will next call at the Port of Hong Kong after leaving Singapore.
It started sailing from the Qingdao port on 28 August and has now completed its first round-trip between Asia and Europe.