Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe has handled what is believed to be the largest number of containers ever on a single ship in Europe, according to its latest statement.
The port noted that a total of 23,773 TEU (standard containers) were handled on the 24,000 TEU MSC DILETTA which completed operations and sailed from the port on January 12.
"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. We are also seeing a trend to consolidate cargo on fewer ultra-large ships. The MSC DILETTA is operated on the 2M Alliance Griffin/AE55 Far East Asia to North Europe service," said Robert Ashton, operations director at the Port of Felixstowe.
"We are very pleased with the performance on this call and to have been able to work with the 2M partners to help achieve their objectives to supply the current high demand for Far East imports to UK consumers."
The 2M Alliance consists of Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC).
The port said in a statement that work is also underway to further increase the port’s ability to handle the world’s largest container ships.
It said Harwich Haven Authority is dredging the main approach channel to increase the depth from 14.5 metres to 16.0 metres.
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 16.5 metres in 2021and Berth 6 will also be dredged to 16.5 metres in 2022 at the same time as Berths 8&9 are increased to 18.0 metres.